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ANNEX II - GUIDELINES FOR APPLICATION OF PRECAUTIONARY REFERENCE POINTS IN CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF STRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS

Annex II establishes the guidelines for the application of the precautionary reference points. Article 6 paragraphs (1) and (3) require that States apply the precautionary approach widely, and that they shall specifically apply the guidelines as set out in Annex II. The provisions of this Annex were constituted from a Working Group established by the Conference in the Spring of 1994 and from technical papers submitted by the FAO. The guidelines and their application represent a significant step forward in fisheries conservation and management, in that it recognizes that the fishing mortality which generates the maximum sustainable yield should be regarded as a minimum standard for limit reference points. It requires two types of precautionary reference points be used — conservation or limit reference points, and management or target reference points. The former sets the boundaries to constrain harvesting within safe biological limits within which stocks can produce the maximum sustainable yield, while the latter is intended to meet management objectives.