At the end of the Second World War the international community embarked upon a period - which has gained momentum during the last 30 years - of restructuring the agencies and juridical bodies which regulate international life. Particularly important changes have been made in the regulations affecting the world's seas and fisheries.
In 1982, after more than ten years of negotiation and on the basis of the progress achieved at the First and Second United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea, 159 states and organizations approved and signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which establishes the sovereign right of coastal states to extend jurisdiction over the maritime resources in their exclusive economic zones of up to 200 miles, in which more than 95 percent of the marine fishery resources now exploited are caught.
As the Director-General of FAO, Mr Edouard Saouma, has pointed out, this reform of the world system will undoubtedly be remembered by future generations as the most important event to have occurred in the fishery sector.
It would seem paradoxical that a man born in a land-locked country like Switzerland should, for more than 25 years during this period of maritime revolution, have been one of the most respected figures on the international fishery scene. But Jean Carroz's natural and inherited qualities of integrity, sobriety and intellectual precision, combined with his extraordinary professional ability, enabled him to work responsibly and effectively on behalf of the international fishing community.
Jean Carroz was a remarkably intelligent man, singularly hard-working and dedicated. His outstanding academic career in the Universities of Lausanne, Paris and Columbia (New York), and the Academy of International Law in The Hague, and his professional participation on the Swiss delegation in the Korean Truce Commission and the International Civil Aviation Organization afforded exceptional preparation, of which he was able to take full advantage as FAO Representative at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.
During the Conference's arduous negotiations, Jean Carroz, with his characteristic sense of responsibility and justice, grasped the problems and aspirations of the developing countries. His counsel and advice, always wise and impartial, were recognized and appreciated by all those participating in the negotiations.
I had the privilege of working in close collaboration with Jean Carroz at the FAO World Fisheries Conference in 1984, which I had the honour to chair as representative of my country. In his work as Secretary-General of the Conference, Jean Carroz demonstrated his unique ability as an international civil servant and as a diplomat, in the best sense of the term.
When he was appointed Assistant Director-General for Fisheries by FAO's Director-General, Jean Carroz implemented the recommendations of this fruitful Conference with energy and conviction. His death in service in November 1985 - truly a mort au champ d'honneur - was an irreparable loss for all those involved with the fishery sector and the fight against hunger.
It is a great privilege for me to dedicate this collection of articles by friends and colleagues of Jean Carroz to the memory of an honourable and exceptional man.
Pedro Ojeda Paullada
World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development
Secretary of Fisheries of Mexico