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This document has been prepared under the direct guidance of the Marine Resources Service, Fishery Resources Division (FIR), FAO Fisheries Department, as part of its regular programme activities and a partial fulfillment of the Organization's role with regards to the monitoring and reporting on global marine fishery resources and relevant environmental and ecological changes. The main objective of this review is to provide the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and more generally, policy-makers, civil society and those who derive their livelihood from fisheries and/or have a direct interest in the conservation and management of world fishery resources with a comprehensive, neutral and global review of the state of the world highly migratory fish stocks, straddling fish stocks, stocks of other high seas fishery resources and stocks of associated species considered in relation to the 1995 United Nations (UN) Fish Stocks Agreement. This document is a revised, expanded and updated version of a technical document provided in November 2005 to the UN Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) as one of FAO's contribution to the preparation of the report of the UN Secretary General to the Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the UN 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, in accordance with paragraph 17 of the General Assembly resolution 59/25, to assist the Review Conference to implement its mandate under paragraph 2, article 36 of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement (UN General Assembly document A/Conf.210/2006/1). This document is also intended to supplement the information contained in the report to the above-mentioned Review Conference.

Main sections of this document have been drafted and edited by J.-J. Maguire and M. Sissenwine (FAO Consultants), and by J. Csirke, R. Grainger and S. Garcia of the FAO Fisheries Department, with contributions from a number of FAO colleagues and collaborators, including K. Cochrane, L. Garibaldi, J. Lleonart, J. Majkowski, J.F. Pulvenis de Seligny, R. Shotton and M. Tandstad. F. Carocci and M. Lamboeuf assisted with the processing of tables, maps and figures, R. Sola assisted with the typing and formatting and E. D'Antoni illustrated the cover page and some inside drawings.

The information on the state of stocks summarized in this document, unless otherwise stated, are essentially drawn from the last issue of the Review of the state of world marine fishery resources (FAO, 2005a) which should be consulted for more detailed references.

The production of this document was funded through the FAO/FIR regular programme, with extrabudgetary contributions through FishCode Programme and from DOALOS.

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