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2.11 Approach to cooperation on conservation and management

An analysis of the arrangements’ references to harmonization in the context of conservation and management measures has already been made in section 2.4 above and will not be repeated here.

Only rarely do arrangements include specified quantitative conservation and management measures. This ranges from technical measures [Black Sea Convention; SRFC Access Convention] to allocation. Allocation is obviously a key political hurdle for the parties to cross. One arrangement sets out very general principles on allocation criteria [River Plate Treaty]. Others actually establish the allocation tonnages or percentages between the parties, to varying degrees [Torres Strait Treaty; Herring System; Mackerel System; Halibut Convention; Pacific Salmon Treaty]. In the Norway/Russia 1978 Agreement (regarding the provisional joint fishing zone), allocations to third states are to be by agreement and rules on how fish caught by licensed third state vessels are to be deducted from the parties’ allocations are set down in the arrangement (see also River Plate Treaty).

Several arrangements provide for the primary consultative mechanism to make decisions on conservation and management, albeit sometimes limited to a special zone has been established in an area where there is uncertainty over the maritime boundary [e.g. Japan/China Agreement; Japan/Korea Agreement]. This function is generally express rather than merely implied [e.g. Japan/Korea Agreement; Russia/Norway 1976 Agreement; Pacific Salmon Treaty; Colombia/Jamaica Treaty; Trinidad and Tobago/Venezuela Agreement; Lake Victoria Convention].

The decisions made by the consultative mechanism may be binding on the parties, or just advisory, depending on the arrangement concerned (see section 2.9 above).

Some consultative mechanisms produce an annual set of their rules [e.g. Baltic Sea Convention; Halibut Convention]. However, the types of conservation and management measure to be decided by the consultative mechanism are generally specified by the arrangement. Examples of measures include:


determination of TAC [Baltic Sea Convention] or minimum spawning stock biomass [Argentina/UK Joint Statement];


determination and allocation of TAC [River Plate Treaty, re common fishing zone; NEAFC Convention; Herring System; Mackerel System; Norway/Russia 1978 Agreement; Mediterranean and Gulf Agreements; Halibut Convention, for Area 2];


determination and allocation of allowable fishing effort [NEAFC Convention; Mediterranean and Gulf Agreements];


determination of quotas [Japan/China Agreement];


regulation of quota exchanges and quota transfers [Baltic Sea Convention];


establishment of closed (or open) areas or seasons [Japan/China Agreement; NEAFC Convention; Baltic Sea Convention; Mediterranean and Gulf Agreements; Halibut Convention];


regulation of by-catch [Baltic Sea Convention; Halibut Convention], discarding [Baltic Sea Convention], logbooks [Baltic Sea Convention; Halibut Convention], catch reporting [Baltic Sea Convention] gear stowage and marking [Baltic Sea Convention], fishing gear and appliances [NEAFC Convention; Baltic Sea Convention; Mediterranean and Gulf Agreements], catching methods [Baltic Sea Convention; Halibut Convention]; and size limits of fish [NEAFC Convention; Baltic Sea Convention; Mediterranean and Gulf Agreements; Halibut Convention];


introduction of precautionary approach for particular species [Arg/UK Joint Statement] or in general [Mediterranean and Gulf Agreements];


adoption of long-term management strategies [Herring System; Baltic Sea Convention];


amendment of quantitative conservation and management measures in the arrangement [Black Sea Convention].

Often the consultative mechanism has a duty to collate information on the conservation and management measures being taken by the parties, or alternatively the parties have a duty to provide such information to the mechanism. Several arrangements expressly allow parties to take stricter measures than those recommended by the consultative mechanism [e.g. Halibut Convention].

Some arrangements establish relevant subsidiary bodies [NEAFC Convention; Herring System; Baltic Sea Convention; Pacific Salmon Treaty; Lake Victoria Convention]. One arrangement provides for the parties to negotiate subsidiary arrangements on conservation and management arrangements for individual fisheries [Torres Strait Treaty]. At least one involves coordination between two of the three parties over to what extent they will allow fishing by the third party in their waters [Loophole Agreement].

The Torres Strait Treaty creates the concept of “residual jurisdiction” (see Annex II). The Norway/Russia 1976 Agreement includes an agreement that neither party will fish for anadromous stocks beyond their respective fisheries jurisdictions. The Black Sea Convention likewise states that the parties are not to fish for Acipenser nudiventris for a specified period of years. The Pacific Salmon Treaty (through the 1999 Agreement) proposes staff exchanges to improve cooperation between fisheries managers.

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