«Sampan Panjarat The United Nations-Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme 2007 - 2008 DIVISION FOR OCEAN AFFAIRS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA OFFICE OF ...»
The Review Conference addressed significant levels of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing which continue to occur in many fisheries for straddling fish stocks and highly migratory species. The Review Conference underlined the critical important of the effective control by flag States over fishing vessels flying their flag. It needed more effort, particularly the expeditious investigation of suspected violation and follow-up actions as well as further steps to combat and deter IUU. The measures or schemes need to be developed more so as to regulate the landing and transshipment in particular at-sea transshipment to prevent illegal caught fish. A coordinated approach among States and RFMOs is required. The Review Conference recommended that States individually and collectively through RFMOs, adopt necessary port States measures, especially the 2005 FAO Model Scheme on Port States Measures to Combat IUU Fishing, and legally binding instruments with International Plan of Action (IPOA) to prevent Deter and Eliminate IUU fishing, the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance, trade measure. In addition, the Review Conference recommended strengthening domestic mechanisms to deter national and beneficial owners from engaging in IUU fishing activities.188
• The assistant to developing state and non parties:
During the Review Conference, a number of developing States noted that an increase in assistance would encourage further ratification. The Conference recognized the need to provide assistance to developing States in areas such as data collection, scientific research, monitoring, control and surveillance, human resource and development and information sharing, as well as technical training and assistance as it relates to conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stock.189 The UNSFA is classified as one of hard law implementation instrument of the LOSC and established many RFMOs and implementation Agreements.190 It aims at completing sustainable fisheries in 2012.191 Ibid. 38-40 pp.
Ibid. 41-43 pp.
E. Meltzer, Global Overview of Straddling and Highly migratory Fish Stocks. Figure C: The figure of International Fisheries and Related Instruments Pertain to Straddling and Highly Migratory. 1-1 pp.
- 58 Thailand is a non-State party to the UNSFA, it has however implemented some provisions of UNSFA concerning the conservation and management of stocks by regional fisheries management organizations. However, Thailand should consider without delay the ratification of the UNSFA for complete cooperation in implementation.
5. The 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries The 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) was adopted at the 28 session of the FAO Conference on 31 October 1995192 by 170 members.193 COFI defined the
concept of the responsible fisheries as:
The CCRF sets out principles and international standards of behaviors for responsible practices with a view to ensuring the effective conservation, management and development of living aquatic resources, with due respect for the ecosystem and biodiversity. It recognizes the nutritional, economic, social, environmental and cultural importance of fisheries and the interests of all those concerned within the fishery sector. The CCRF takes into account the biological characteristics of the resources and their environment and the interests of consumers and other users.195 United Nation, General Assembly, Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the conservation and management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, New York, 22-26 May
2006. op. cit. 43 p.
FAO. Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Rome. 1995. 41 p.
FAO, What is the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries? About CCRF. 2003. 1-1 pp.
FAO, CCRF- annex 1.
FAO, CCRF, Introduction. 1-1 pp.
- 59 The CCRF is voluntary rather than mandatory,196 global in scope,197 and based on relevant rules of international law, including those reflected in the LOSC, the FAO Compliance Agreement, Agenda 21, in particular Chapter 17, and other relevant declarations and international instruments.198 The CCRF is comprised of 12 articles and 2 Annexes.199 The two annexes provide background to the origin and elaboration of the CCRF, and its adoption.200 Article 1 to 4 of the CCRF addresses the nature and scope of the CCRF, the objective, the relationship with other international instruments and implementation,201 respectively.
The principle objects of the CCRF include fisheries management, fishing operations, aquaculture development and integration of fisheries into coastal area management.202 The CCRF lays on the post-harvest practices and trade that contain responsible fish utilization and international trade, law and regulation relating to fish trade.203 The CCRF recognizes the importance of fisheries research and States that ‘‘responsible fisheries require the availability of a sound scientific basis to assist fisheries managers and other interested parties in making decisions.”204 The appropriate research is needed in all aspects of fisheries including biology, ecology, technology, environmental science, economics, social science, aquaculture and nutritional science.205 The CCRF emphasize the need for assistance to developing States to implement the CCRF, especially in the areas of financial and technical assistance, technology transfer, training and scientific cooperation that would allow developing States to develop their own fisheries and to participate in high seas fisheries.206 FAO, What is the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries? About CCRF, 2003. 41 p.
FAO, CCRF, art 1.2.
FAO, CFRF, Relationship with other International Instruments. 2001. 41 p.
FAO, CCRF. 41 p.
Ibid. annex 1-2. 35-41 pp.
Ibid. art 1-4.
FAO, Code of Conduct, art 11.
Ibid. art 12.1.
Ibid. art 5.
- 60 FAO International Plans of Actions addressing specific key issues of the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries There are four International Plans of Actions (IPOAs) which are voluntary instruments within the framework of the CCRF.207 Three IPOAs were adopted by COFI at its 23rd session in February 1999208 and include the IPOA on SEABIRDS which concerns the reduction of incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries, the IPOA on SHARK which concerns conservation and management of sharks, and IPOA on capacity which concern the management of fishing capacity the subject of management of fishing capacity. The fourth IPOA, addressing IUU fishing was adopted at COFI’s the 24 session in 2001.209 Four IPOAs may be summarized
(a) IPOA-SEABIRDS The objective of the IPOA-SEABIRDS is to reduce incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries.210 The species of seabirds most frequently victims of such catches are albatrosses and petrels in the Southern Ocean, northern fulmars in the North Atlantic and albatrosses, gulls and fulmars in the North Pacific fisheries. The elaboration of this IPOA was due to an increased awareness about the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries and its potential negative impacts on seabird populations.211 IPOA asked States with longline fisheries to conduct an assessment of these fisheries to determine if a problem exists with respect to incidental catch of seabirds. If a problem exists, States should then adopt accordingly a National Plan of Action for reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries (NPOA-SEABIRDS).
FAO, International Plan of Action (May 2001 [cited 2007]); available from http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/Y5260E/y5260e0l.htm#fn11.
FAO, Report of the 23rd Session of the Committee on Fisheries. Rome, 15-19 February 1999 (May 2001(cited 2007); available from http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/x0911e.htm.
FAO, Report of the 24 Session of the Committee on Fisheries. Rome, 26 February-2 March 2001. ; available from http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/003/y0220e/y0220e00.htm.
FAO, International Plan of Action, IPOA-Seabirds (May 2007(cited 2001) available from;
(b) IPOA-SHARKS The objective of the IPOA-SHARKS is to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use.212 IPOA requests States to implement a national program for the conservation and management of shark stocks if their vessels conduct directed or non-directed fisheries for sharks and call upon States to be responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring its Shark-plan. The national shark plan should contain regular assessments of the status of shark stocks, effective measures to ensure that shark fisheries are sustainable and should seek to minimize unutilized incidental catches, minimize waste and discards and encourage full use of dead sharks. And where transboundary, straddling, highly migratory and high seas stocks of sharks are exploited by two or more States, the States concerned should strive to ensure effective conservation and management of the stocks.213 (c) IPOA-CAPACITY The IPOA stated that overcapacity and overfishing are really symptoms of the same underlying management problem as well as being biologically unsustainable, among others, contributes substantially to the degradation of marine fisheries resources, the decline of food production potential, and significant economic waste. The level of overcapacity observed in the mid-1990s was also economically unsustainable.214 Thus, IPOA seek to address the management of fisheries capacity in the framework of the CCRF,215 States should take measures to prevent or Ibid.
FAO, International Plan of Action, IPOA-Capacity (2007 [cited May 2007]); available from http://www.fao.org/fi/website/FIRetrieveAction.do?dom=org&xml=ipoa_capacity.xml&xp_nav=1.
FAO, International Plan of Action, IPOA-Capacity, legal foundation. (2007 [cited May 2007]); available from http://www.fao.org/fi/website/FIRetrieveAction.do?dom=org&xml=ipoa_capacity.xml&xp_nav=2
- 62 eliminate excess fishing capacity and should ensure that levels of fishing effort are commensurate with sustainable use of fishery resources.216 IPOA-CAPACITY specifies a number of actions to be urgently taken with regards to the main section of the document including assessment and monitoring of fishing capacity, preparation and implementation of national plans, international consideration, and immediate actions for major international fisheries requiring urgent attention.217 The immediate objective of the IPOA-Capacity is to urge States and RFMOs to achieve a worldwide, efficient, equitable and transparent management of fishing capacity, preferably by 2003 but no later than 2005.218 (d) IPOA-IUU Regarding to the issue of IUU fishing in world fisheries is of serious and increasing concern. IUU fishing undermines efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks in all capture fisheries. When confronted with IUU fishing, national and regional fisheries management organizations can fail to achieve management goals. This situation leads to the loss of both short and long-term social and economic opportunities and to negative effects on food security and environmental protection. IUU fishing can lead to the collapse of a fishery or seriously impair efforts to rebuild stocks that have already been depleted. Existing international instruments addressing IUU fishing have not been effective due to a lack of political will, priority, capacity and resources to ratify or accede and to implement them.219 The objective of the IPOA-IUU is to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing by providing all States with comprehensive, effective and transparent measures by which to act, including through appropriate regional fisheries management organizations established in accordance with international law.220 FAO, International Plan of Action, IPOA-Capacity (2007 [cited May 2007]); available from http://www.fao.org/fi/website/FIRetrieveAction.do?dom=org&xml=ipoa_capacity.xml&xp_nav=1.
FAO, International Plan of Action, IPOA-Capacity, Mission. (2007 [cited May 2007]); available from http://www.fao.org/fi/website/FIRetrieveAction.do?dom=org&xml=ipoa_capacity.xml&xp_nav=2 FAO, International Plan of Action, IPOA-IUU (2007 [cited May 2007]); available from http://www.fao.org/fi/website/FIRetrieveAction.do?dom=org&xml=ipoa_IUU.xml.