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Copyright (c) 2006 American University/Sustainable Development Law & Policy
Sustainable Development Law & Policy

IN THIS ISSUE: OCEAN AND FISHERIES LAW: REVIEWING THE UNITED NATIONS FISH STOCKS TREATY

Fall, 2006

7 Sustainable Dev. L. & Pol'y 5

Author

By David A. Balton and Holly R. Koehler*

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Like a number of key stocks of fish in the world's oceans, good news on the subject of international fisheries has become less plentiful. The international community has grappled for years with growing concern over the state of the marine environment, particularly the health of living marine resources and their habitats. The conservation and management of fish stocks whose ranges extend across the lines that separate ocean areas under national jurisdiction and the high seas pose particular challenges. Without cooperation among nations, there can be no effective regulation of such resources, including for so-called "straddling fish stocks" and "highly migratory fish stocks." 1

In an effort to address these concerns, the United Nations adopted the UN Fish Stocks Agreement ("UNFSA") in 1995. 2 Together with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's ("FAO") Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries 3 and the High Seas Fishing Compliance Agreement, 4 the UNFSA has established robust international principles and standards at the global level for the regulation of ocean fisheries. The UNFSA entered into force in 2001 and now has 61 States Parties. But how well is it working? How much impact is it having? What more can be done to strengthen its implementation?

The States Parties to the UNFSA and other interested participants met recently at the United Nations to answer these questions. This article will summarize the outcomes of the UNFSA Review Conference and will consider the prospects for this vital treaty ...
 
 
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