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This document describes highly migratory fish stocks, straddling fish stocks, and stocks of other high seas fishery resources and the fisheries for them, including information on their state of exploitation. Fisheries for highly migratory species are important in all oceans and semi-enclosed seas, except for polar regions. Fisheries for straddling fish stocks are much more localized, primarily occurring in a few regions where continental shelves extend beyond the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) while most fisheries for other high seas fishery resources are deep-water fisheries. Formal assessments are lacking for most of the stocks examined. Nevertheless, the compilation of available assessments and FAO's analyses indicate that about 30 percent of the stocks of highly migratory tuna and tuna-like species, more than 50 percent of the highly migratory oceanic sharks and nearly two-thirds of the straddling stocks and the stocks of other high seas fishery resources are overexploited or depleted. The stocks concerned represent only a small fraction of the world fishery resources, but are key indicators of the state of an overwhelming part of the ocean ecosystem that appears to be more overexploited than EEZs. The scarcity of the information available and the short time elapsed since the entering into force of the nited Nations Fish Stock Agreement do not allow for a realistic assessment of the impact it may have had on the state of the various fish stocks being exploited in the high seas. ome key issues on which progress and improvements are needed are addressed, including those regarding fisheries in the high seas for resources other than straddling stocks and highly migratory species.

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