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APPENDIX 1: FAO Conference Resolution 6/2003: Progress Report on Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing


Noting the continuing high and growing incidence of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and related activities and the lack of political will and capacity by some Governments to deal effectively with such fishing;

Noting the lack of commitment by some States to meet their obligations under international law;

Noting further that IUU fishing seriously undermined national, regional and international efforts to achieve long-term sustainability in fisheries;

Recalling the adoption on 11 March 1999 of the Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries at the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries wherein it was agreed, inter alia, that States would develop a global plan of action to deal effectively with all forms of IUU fishing including fishing vessels flying “flags of convenience”;

Noting further the increasing incidence of vessels flying “flags of convenience” and the inability or lack of will on the part of some countries to apply any controls over the vessels they flag;

Recalling the endorsement of the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU) by the Hundred and Twentieth Session of the FAO Council on 23 June 2001 wherein States were encouraged to develop and implement, as soon as possible but not later than three years after the adoption of the International Plan of Action, national plans of action to further achieve its objectives and to give full effect to its provisions as an integral part of their fisheries management programmes and budgets;

Recalling the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted on 4 September 2002 by the World Summit on Sustainable Development wherein States were urged to implement the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing through national and, where appropriate, regional plans of action by 2004;

Recalling the relevant provisions of Resolutions (A/58/L.18 and A/58/L.19) on Oceans and the Law of the Sea adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 24 November 2003:

1. Urges, as a matter of priority and urgency, States that have not done so to accept, accede to, or ratify, as appropriate, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement and to implement and give full effect to the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the international plans of action and fisheries management guidelines developed in the framework of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;

2. Calls upon States to ensure that they exercise full and effective control over fishing vessels flying their flags, in accordance with international law, to combat IUU fishing and to implement the IPOA-IUU;

3. Encourages States, and as appropriate, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), to develop and implement National, and as appropriate, Regional Plans of Action to combat IUU fishing as soon as possible, but no later than 2004;

4. Urges States, to the greatest extent possible, to take measures or cooperate to ensure that nationals subject to their jurisdiction do not support or engage in IUU fishing;

5. Requests port States to take measures, in accordance with international law, to combat IUU fishing and as a means of implementing the IPOA-IUU;

6. Urges that States take all steps necessary, consistent with international law, to prevent fish caught by vessels identified by relevant RFMOs to have been engaged in IUU fishing being traded or imported into their territories;

7. Calls upon States to ensure compliance with and enforcement of policies and measures having a bearing on IUU fishing which are adopted by any relevant RFMOs;

8. Encourages States to participate actively in the intergovernmental Technical Consultations to review progress towards full implementation of the IPOA-IUU and the IPOA-Capacity to be organized by the FAO in June 2004;

9. Encourages the full participation of stakeholders in combating IUU fishing, including industry, fishing communities, and non-governmental organizations;

10. Invites relevant competent international organizations to study, examine and clarify the role of the “genuine link” in relation to the duty of flag States to exercise effective control over ships flying their flag, including fishing vessels;

11. Encourages States, the FAO, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), RFMOs and other relevant competent international organizations dealing with maritime issues to cooperate in the development of measures to combat IUU fishing, including through the sharing of information, and

12. Encourages States, on their own initiative, or with the support of FAO and relevant international financial institutions and mechanisms, where appropriate, to cooperate to support training and capacity building and consider providing financial, technical and other assistance to developing countries, including in particular the least developed among them and small island developing States, so that they can more fully meet their commitments under the IPOA-IUU and obligations under international law, including their duties as flag States and port States. Such assistance should be directed in particular to help such States in the development and implementation of national plans of action in accordance with paragraph 25 of the IPOA-IUU.

(Adopted on 9 December 2003)

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