The High Seas Vessels Authorization Record (HSVAR) was established to address the requirements defined in Article VI of the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas approved in 1993 (Full text of the Agreement
). The database contains distinctive and descriptive elements of high seas fishing vessels as well as information on registration and authorization status, infringements etc.
In October 1995, a Circular State Letter (G/FI-24/PR) was sent to all States which had accepted the Agreement informing them that FAO had developed a prototype database and requesting those States to provide data on vessel authorizations to facilitate testing. The prototype database was populated with data provided by five countries for testing purposes. The total number of vessels incorporated in the database after that testing phase was 5 672.
In August 2003, a second Circular State Letter (G/X/FI-30) was sent to all the States which had accepted the Agreement informing them of the entry into force, on 24 April 2003, of the Agreement and reminding them of their obligations under Article VI of the Agreement. Article VI of the Agreement requires Parties to exchange information on vessels authorized by them to fish on the high seas, and obliges FAO to facilitate this information exchange.
Since then, new States have accepted the Agreement and new lists of authorized vessels have been added or updated. Table 1
presents the current status of the Agreement and the latest data contributions to the HSVAR from Parties.
In May 2012, the web-page was renovated with numerous functionalities including enhanced access control to the list of authorized vessels. Parties to the Agreement should inform FAO the list of users, designate institutions /offices who needs the access to the information so that FAO can grant personalized credentials to access the HSVAR database.