Instruments for global fisheries management - A review

 

A. HETTIARACHCHI

Abstract

The impact of uncontrolled expansion of fishing activities on living marine resources has been a subject of discussion among the world community since 1940s. With a view to preventing over-exploitation of marine living resources, coastal States and other States have concluded a number of treaties, and established several regional fisheries organizations. However, even with these treaties and • organizations in force, fishing activities in the oceans have expanded in an uncontrolled manner leading to depletion of certain fish stocks. Meanwhile the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS) provided a framework for governance of all oceanic affairs including exploitation of living resources. UNCLOS provided for coastal States to manage living resources within 200 nautical-mile exclusive economic zones and thereby brought nearly 90% of the living marine resources under the control of coastal States. UNCLOS also made provisions for managing and conserving living marine resources that occur outside the jurisdiction of coastal States. Under the provisions of UNCLOS a convention has been concluded for the purpose of conserving and managing migratory and straddling fish stocks. The Food and Agriculture Organization also has made several instruments to conserve and manage living marine resources. This paper analyzes these instruments, which are now in force. To achieve the objectives of these instruments the will and active involvement of the fishing nations are essential.

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