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Starting from Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992), this document proposes a definition of the precautionary approach to fisheries as well as an elaboration on the burden of proof. It also contains detailed guidelines on fisheries management, how to conduct fishery research and how to develop and transfer fishery technology in a context of uncertainty and responsible fisheries. Guidelines are also provided on voluntary or accidental species introduction (including through ballast water and sediment discharge), recognizing the difficulty of ensuring a precautionary approach in relation to that issue. The guidelines are aimed at governments, fisheries authorities, the fishery industry, regional fishery management bodies, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties and are Intended to provide background information to raise their awareness about the need for precaution in fisheries and to provide practical guidance on how to apply such precaution.


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