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Annex I

Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)





4.1 Definitions

HACCP. A system that identifies specific hazards and preventative measures for their control.
Hazard. The potential to cause harm. Hazards can be biological, chemical or physical.
Critical Limit. A value, which separates acceptability from unacceptability.
Critical Control Point (CCP). A point, step or procedure at which control can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level.
Corrective Action. The action to be taken when the results of monitoring a CCP indicate a loss of control.
Monitor. To conduct a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a CCP is under control.
Verification. To confirm the integrity of the monitoring process.

4.2 Principles

  1. Identify the potential hazards associated with food production at all stages, from growth, processing, manufacture and distribution, until the point of consumption. Assess the likelihood of occurrence of these hazards and identify the preventative measures for their control;
  2. Determine the points, procedures and operational steps that can be implemented to control and/or eliminate the hazard or minimise its likelihood of occurrence (Critical Control Point (CCP)). A `step' means any stage in food production and/or manufacture including raw materials, their receipt and/or production, harvesting, transport, formulation, processing, storage, etc.;
  3. Establish critical limits that must be met to ensure the CCP is under control;
  4. Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP by scheduled testing or observation;
  5. Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control;
  6. Establish procedures for verification, which include supplementary tests and procedures to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively, and
  7. Establish documentation concerning all appropriate procedures and records.

Annex II

Potential conservation and management measures, threats and critical action points


Measure Refers to the broad range of activities that are undertaken in support of conservation or management.
Threat Refers to those activities, which can negatively effect the sustainability of the fishery resource or the orderly conduct of the fishery.
Action Point Refers to the place that a specific action can be taken to minimise or eliminate the threat.


2.1 Protection of the spawning biomass

2.1.1 Conservation Measures

  1. Closed times/seasons;
  2. Closed areas;
  3. Retention prohibitions i.e. berried female lobsters, female Snow crabs, and
  4. Total allowable catches (TAC).

2.1.2 Conservation Threats

  1. Illegal fishing;
  2. Fishing out of season;
  3. Fishing in closed areas;
  4. Retention of prohibited animals, and
  5. Overfishing or exceeding the TAC.

2.1.3 Conservation action points

  1. Surveillance during fishery closure prior to spawning;
  2. Surveillance of closed areas prior to spawning;
  3. In-season inspection of catches, at sea or dockside, to ensure no retention of prohibited species, and
  4. Monitoring of the catches and by-catches to ensure the TAC is not exceeded.

2.2 Protection of juvenile fish

2.2.1 Conservation measures

  1. Closures;
  2. Definition of specific fishing areas;
  3. Short term closures (e.g. small fish protocols);
  4. Gear restrictions and modifications;
  5. Prohibition of specific gear types;
  6. Mesh size limits;
  7. Selective fishing devices and sorting technologies;
  8. Escape mechanisms;
  9. Establish minimum fish size;
  10. Release of live juveniles;
  11. Juvenile by-catch restrictions and tolerances, and
  12. Accurate reporting of target catch and total catch composition.

2.2.2 Conservation threats

  1. Retention of prohibited juveniles;
  2. Fishing in closed areas or out of season;
  3. Use of prohibited fishing gears;
  4. Use of prohibited mesh sizes;
  5. Use of illegal fishing practices (e.g. liners);
  6. Disabling selective fishing devices;
  7. Unreported dumping and discarding of juveniles, and
  8. Mis-reporting of catch.

2.2.3 Conservation action points

  1. Fishing gear inspections before the opening of the fishery;
  2. Surveillance of closed areas and all areas out of season;
  3. At sea monitoring of fishing vessels, gear and catches;
  4. Dockside inspection and sampling of vessels and catches, and
  5. Closure as a result of the excessive capture of juveniles.


3.1 TAC regulated fisheries

3.1.1 Conservation measures

  1. TAC established by stock area;
  2. All catches recorded by species by stock area;
  3. Fishery closed when TAC is reached, and
  4. Retention of all fish caught.

3.1.2 Conservation threats

  1. Exceeding the TAC;
  2. Non-reporting of the catch;
  3. Mis-reporting the catch weight;
  4. Mis-reporting of the catch by stock area;
  5. Mis-reporting of the catch by species;
  6. High-grading of the catch;
  7. Dumping and discarding;
  8. Fishing by unauthorised fishers i.e. poaching, and
  9. Use of illegal fishing gears.

3.1.3 Conservation action points

  1. At sea monitoring and surveillance of fishing activities;
  2. Dockside inspection of vessels, gear and catch, and
  3. Timely and accurate catch reporting.

3.2 Effort controlled fisheries

3.2.1 Conservation measures

  1. Establish fishing seasons by area;
  2. Limit the number of licensed fishers;
  3. Limit the types of gear that can be used, and
  4. Limit the quantity of gear that a fisher can use.

3.2.2 Conservation threats

  1. Unauthorised fishing i.e. poaching;
  2. Fishing in the closed season;
  3. Fishing in closed areas;
  4. Using prohibited gear types, and
  5. Exceeding the authorised quantity of gear.

3.2.3 Conservation action points

  1. At sea monitoring and surveillance of fishing activities, and
  2. Dockside inspection of vessels, gears and catch.


4.1 Access to the resource

4.1.1 Management measures

  1. Registration programmes for vessels and fishers;
  2. Specific fishery licenses for specie and area, and
  3. License conditions are widely used to implement conservation and management measures.

4.1.2 Management threats

  1. Reduced earning for licensed fishers;
  2. Unauthorised fishing by unlicensed individuals (poaching);
  3. Increased competition for the available harvest;
  4. Excessive capital inputs;
  5. Use of prohibited gears;
  6. Exceeding the quantity of authorised gear, and
  7. Reliance on licence conditions as the primary means of managing the fishery is an extremely complex process. Inconsistencies in the process can result in the introduction of both conservation and management hazards.

4.1.3 Management action points

  1. The issue of fishing licenses, and
  2. The issue of license conditions.

4.2 Allocation of the resource

4.2.1 Management measures

  1. TAC is established by stock area;
  2. TAC is subdivided into specific area quotas;
  3. TAC is subdivided into gear sector quotas;
  4. Gear sector quotas subdivided into fleet sector quotas;
  5. Fleet sector quotas are subdivided into individual quotas;
  6. Individual quotas are subdivided into trip limits (daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal);
  7. Control through licence conditions;
  8. Quota management system, and
  9. By catch controls.

4.2.2 Management threats

  1. Ineffective management and control of the quota monitoring system can result in over runs of the TACs;
  2. Over runs in one fleet sector can negatively affect the income potential of other sectors;
  3. Over runs of individual quotas can negatively affect the income potential of other individuals, and
  4. Maximising economic returns through, high-grading, dumping, discarding, non-reporting and mis-reporting of catches.

4.2.3 Management action points

  1. Effective quota monitoring programme:
  1. Closures.

4.3 Management for the orderly conduct of the fisheries

4.3.1 Management measures

  1. Gear and vessel markings;
  2. Distances between fishing gears;
  3. Location and placement of gear, and
  4. Resolution of conflicts between fishers.

4.3.2 Management threats

  1. Requires government (e.g. DFO) intervention to resolve conflicts.

4.3.3 Management action points

  1. Industry consultations and community programmes.

Annex III

Glossary of terms

Action point. Any point or step in the fishing operation at which control can be applied or achieved.

Audit. The processes used to confirm the validity of the monitoring and verification programmes. Auditing can also include directed surveillance and enforcement including sea, air and land patrols and related actions.

Control. To manage a fishing operation so that a desirable performance is achieved.

Conservation threat. Any fishing activity that can threaten the long-term sustainability of the resource. These are normally expressed as biological impacts.

Conservation measure (CM). Any action that can be taken to protect the fishery resource, all or in part, from the potential negative impact of a specific fishing activity (e.g. mesh size or escapement mechanisms for the release of juvenile fish).

Conservation action point (CAP). Any point or step at which control can be applied and a conservation hazard prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level.

Conservation management plan. A document that sets out the application of conservation and management principles for a fishing activity. It contains the procedures to be followed to ensure conservation measures and other regulatory requirements are met.

Conservation management system. The result of the implementation of the conservation management plan.

Corrective action. The action to be taken when monitoring a CAP or MAP if the monitored value is above the critical limit and is indicative of a potential or actual loss of control.

Corrective action plan. The plan that details the actions to be taken when the monitoring programme identifies that a critical limit has been exceeded.

Critical deficiency. A deviation from a CAP that may result in a conservation or management threat.

Critical limit. The value, of a monitored action, which separates acceptable results from unacceptable results.

Decision tree. A sequence of questions to determine whether a control point is a CAP or MAP.

Deviation. A value that lies outside the established critical limits.

Documentation. Written records that contain the results of the monitoring and verification requirements.

Management threat. Any action or activity that threatens the orderly conduct or management of the fishery. These are normally socio-economic activities that can significantly effect the viability of the fishery and of the fishing enterprises.

Management measure. Measures that are imposed to ensure that the specified socio-economic management objectives are achieved (e.g. Individual quotas, fleet sector allocations and trip limits).

Management action point (MAP). Any point or step at which control can be applied and a negative social or economic outcome is prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level.

Monitoring. A planned series of observations or measurements of a specified parameter, at an identified CAP or MAP. The values obtained should be compared to the target level and permitted critical limits. The results should be obtained in time to allow for remedial action if the values are outside critical limits.

Preventative measure. Actions or activities that can be used to eliminate threats or reduce their impact to acceptable levels. Also referred to as control measures.

Risk. An estimate of the probability or likely occurrence of a threat.

Risk analysis. A process consisting of three components: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.

Risk assessment. The scientific process of identifying threats, and estimating risk in quantitative or qualitative terms.

Threat. The potential to compromise fishery conservation or fisheries management objectives. These are specific practices (e.g. the use of undersize mesh or fishing during closed periods) which have an adverse effect on the fishery.

Threat identification. The identification of known or potential threats associated with the fishery and method of fishing. The identification of those activities or actions which can negatively affect the sustainability of the fishery resource or the socio-economic management of the fishery.

Threat characterisation. The quantitative and/or qualitative evaluation of the adverse effects associated with the fishing activity.

Verification. The processes used to confirm the validity of the monitoring programmes. Verification can also include auditing.

Annex IV

The current process used to define the
Integrated fisheries management plan (IFMP)

This annex outlines the steps involved in the current DFO IFMP process. The purpose of the annex is to present the current process so that a comparison can be made with the proposed ICAMS approach.


  1. Participants;
  2. Location of the fishery;
  3. Time frame of the fishery;
  4. Landings/value/markets;
  5. Consultative process, and
  6. Management styles.


  1. Biology, environment, habitat;
  2. Species interactions;
  3. Assessment;
  4. Research, and
  5. Prospects for the period covered by the plan.


3.1 General management objectives

  1. Conservation/sustainability;
  2. International considerations, and
  3. Domestic considerations.



  1. Fishing seasons;
  2. Control and monitoring of fishing activities;
  3. Quota allocations;
  4. Other related elements;
  5. Licensing, and
  6. Key legislation.


  1. Overview;
  2. Main programme objectives;
  3. Fishery patrol vessels;
  4. Air surveillance, and
  5. Enforcement issues and strategies.

Integrated fisheries monitoring: The legal framework

Martin Tsamenyi1 and Kwame Mfodwo2

1 University of Wollongong, Centre for Maritime Policy, Northfields Av., Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia.
Email: [email protected]
2 Environmental Management Programme, Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Waikato Hamilton, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Abstract: This paper discusses the international law framework governing fisheries monitoring in the 1990s. It analyses the rights and duties of States and other actors as set out in the Law of the Sea Convention; the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement; the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Compliance Agreement; the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and a selected number of regional fisheries instruments. Issues addressed include: (i) the relationship between operational aspects of fisheries monitoring and the legal framework; (ii) the implications of the trend towards precise treaty-based specification of State duties; (iii) quality, usability and verifiability of fisheries monitoring data; (iv) possible misuse of fisheries monitoring data and the need to strengthen protections for commercial actors; (v) clarification of the framework of sanctions for non-performance of fisheries management obligations by States and other actors. The Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement is identified as providing the most coherent approach to fisheries monitoring at the present time. The difficulties of extending the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement's approach to other agreements are discussed. Finally, recommendations for further improving the international law dimensions of fisheries monitoring are also made.


  1. Monitoring: "The continuous requirement for the measurement of fishing effort characteristics and resource yield";
  2. Control: "the regulatory conditions under which the exploitation of the resources may be conducted";
  3. Surveillance: "the degree and types of observations required to maintain compliance with the regulatory controls imposed on fishing activities".

This paper adopts the FAO perspective directing its analytical focus to the framework of international law rules and institutions governing how States and other actors in the fisheries arena seek to achieve the "continuous ... measurement of fishing effort characteristics and resource yield."

As we demonstrate in more detail below, the international law framework governing this aspect of marine fisheries management is still very much in evolution and furthermore has a decidedly uneven character. This uneven character is due to a number of factors, including the high levels of uncertainty associated with marine science; regional differences in marine orientation and the importance of fisheries matters; a generalised world-wide lack of institutional capacity to undertake fisheries monitoring; concerns with sovereignty; the highly technical character of the tasks to be undertaken; the commercial confidentiality associated with much of the information required for effective fisheries monitoring; and the historical origins of the instruments governing fisheries relations amongst States.

These limitations notwithstanding, the last six years seem to have brought some progress in the task of establishing a clear legal framework to support fisheries monitoring. The clearest result of these efforts is to be seen in the text of Annex I to the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement (see discussion further below), whilst the redoubled efforts to improve the fisheries monitoring performance of many regional fisheries organisations is also evidence of forward movement in this arena. Annex I is a thoughtful statement of the international dimensions of the technical, political and legal aspects of fisheries monitoring and contributes significantly to providing a quasi-legal framework for undertaking fisheries monitoring. It should, however, be recalled that in strict legal terms, the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement applies only to the named stocks and moreover the treaty is not yet in force. Despite these limitations, our view is that this Annex may well come to have a significant influence on fisheries monitoring in the years ahead.

A desire to have a high degree of order is evident in the various definitions of monitoring, control and surveillance cited earlier as well as in Annex I of the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement. The reality however, is that the distinctions sought to be drawn between "monitoring", "control" and "surveillance" are often difficult to maintain in practice. In any case, it can also be argued that over-rigid adherence to these distinctions in the planning and implementation work of fisheries management agencies can reduce efficiency and undermine achievement of an integrated approach to fisheries monitoring and fisheries management in general.

A few examples illustrate this point, starting with the situation of an observer system designed to collect and report solely on scientific information. Provided that its primary output is scientific information, such a system would be classified as "monitoring" under the FAO definitions set out above. However, the same observer programme would constitute "surveillance" were it to be aimed at providing information to trigger enforcement action at a later stage. The emerging trend towards real time reporting through satellite vessel monitoring systems (VMS) provides further examples of the integrated relationship between "monitoring" and "surveillance." Reporting of vessel position would seem prima facie to be an act of rule compliance by a licensed vessel to assist with surveillance of its activities. But even in this simple form, and given a well-organised and integrated information management system, it is easy to see that position reporting can provide a valuable contribution to the monitoring function. After all information on vessel position would be useful to the fishery manager in determining the geographical aspects of "fishing effort characteristics and resource yield". Integration both in practice and in design and implementation of legislation would seem therefore to be both inevitable and indispensable.


In the late 1990s fisheries monitoring has come to involve the following actors:

  1. State actors: the coastal State; the distant-water fishing State; the flag State;
  2. International organisations: regional coastal State organisations; regional Organisations comprising both Fishing and coastal States;
  3. Non-State actors: industry associations; environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and
  4. Fishing vessel masters and owners.

Because the framework of international law gives priority to State actors, the language of obligation in the international instruments under review in this paper refers principally to State actors. Even so, non-State actors are emerging as particularly important players. Environmental NGOs for instance have acquired enhanced participatory roles in a number of regional fisheries conferences and various global negotiations, whilst aspects of the implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct clearly require enhanced co-operation from industry associations and maritime corporations. Environmental NGOs for instance are likely to play an increased role in implementing those aspects of the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement to do with the precautionary approach to fishing. The predominant actors in fisheries monitoring are still however various national governments and institutions charged with fisheries management functions; international organisations at the regional and global levels; and vessel masters/owners. It is the law governing the interaction between these actors, which is the backbone of the international framework for fisheries monitoring.


The questions that fisheries monitoring seek to answer can be characterised as follows:

  1. Who is fishing?;
  2. Where?;
  3. What are they fishing with?;
  4. How does the who and where of fishing relate to what is authorised?;
  5. What does the fishing gear catch and how much of the fish does it catch?;
  6. How much by-catch is taken and how much is discarded? (at sea; on land?);
  7. What relationship does actual catch has with what is authorised?;
  8. Where is the catch landed and/or transhipped?;
  9. What is landed/transhipped and how does this relate to what is authorised ?;
  10. How much is the fish sold for?;
  11. To whom is the fish sold and with what final destination?;
  12. How do the commercial returns affect fishing effort and resource yield?, and
  13. To what extent are any stages of the fishing process subsidised and/or overcapitalised?

The techniques and institutional arrangements that allow these questions to be answered (the practical side of monitoring) include:

  1. Catch and activity reporting (observer programmes, log books, VMS etc.);
  2. Port inspections and sampling;
  3. Tagging;
  4. Research surveys;
  5. Landing records;
  6. Receiver records, and.
  7. Vessel registration and registers.

Legal frameworks and concepts inform as well as link the objectives and techniques of fisheries monitoring and impose obligations on the actors in this arena of fisheries monitoring.


Treaties are the principal source of the current relatively scattered rule framework governing fisheries monitoring. The treaty framework comprises the following elements:

  1. Global multilateral treaties of a law-generating character supported by non-binding instruments with global reach;
  2. Regional fisheries agreements within the FAO system, and
  3. Regional fisheries agreements outside the FAO system.

Annex I of the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement is at present the most advanced and coherent statement of treaty norms to guide fisheries monitoring. The treaty is, however, not in force and in any case has application only to straddling and highly migratory stocks. There is, thus, currently no unified and firm set of international legal rules covering fisheries monitoring activity. This means for instance, that there is no international standard governing a range of issues such as the quality of the scientific information generated and no sanctions to be imposed on a State for providing false or inadequate information to international organisations or other States.

However, current international law firmly recognises the centrality of scientific information to the fisheries conservation and harvesting process with the consequence that the obligation to provide scientific information has become a core feature of all fisheries agreements (global, regional, bilateral). This is probably an obligation imposed on all States under the customary international law duty to co-operate in the management of shared resources. This duty applies on the global, regional and bilateral levels and often requires prior information, consultation and negotiation." In the context of monitoring, all the global and regional fisheries instruments require international co-operation in the collection, exchange, analysis and dissemination of fisheries data and statistics.

National implementation of international obligations on fisheries monitoring is so routine that its legal basis - compliance with international commitments based on the principle of pacta sunt servanda and the duty of States to co-operate in good faith, is often forgotten. Part of this "good faith" requirement is that States will take action at the national level to implement their international obligations. National reporting of both scientific information and action taken to implement obligations is another key mechanism employed to ensure compliance which is based on the "good faith" principle. The institutionalisation of adequate environmental reporting processes stressed in Agenda 21 is also advanced by the routine reporting found in fisheries monitoring treaties - the extension of fisheries monitoring to include broader ecological issues will strengthen the obligation framework relating to environmental reporting.


This section of the paper presents a summary of the monitoring-related provisions in global fisheries instruments. An evaluation of trends and various features is provided further below. The global fisheries agreements include the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention; the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement; the FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (Compliance Agreement) and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing (Code of Conduct). Although the latter instrument is not legally binding, it is included here because of its customary international norm creating effect.


6.1 LOSC 1982

6.1.1 Provisions

  1. Catch and effort statistics and vessel position reports;
  2. The sampling of catches, disposition of samples and reporting of associated scientific data;
  3. The placing of observers or trainees on board such vessels by the coastal State;
  4. The landing of all or any part of the catch by such vessels in the ports of the coastal State. Coastal State obliged to exchange available information on a regular basis through competent international organisations.

6.1.2 Institutions

6.2 Compliance Agreement (not in force)

6.2.1 Provisions

6.2.2 Institutions

6.3 Code of Conduct (Not legally binding, but has become norm creating)

6.3.1 Provisions

  1. States to establish effective mechanisms to monitor activities of fishing vessels and fishing support vessels (Article 6.10);
  2. Flag States to ensure that their vessels fulfil all obligations concerning collection and provision of data on fishing activities (Article 6.11);
  3. States are to establish effective mechanisms for fisheries monitoring, surveillance, control and enforcement (MCSE)(Article 7.1.7);
  4. States are to ensure timely collection, proper maintenance, verification and up-dating of complete and reliable statistics on catch and fishing effort, - with such actions to be in accordance with applicable international standards and practices and in sufficient detail to allow sound statistical analysis;
  5. States (in conformity with their national laws) required to implement effective fisheries monitoring, control, surveillance and law enforcement measures, including observer programmes, inspection schemes and vessel monitoring systems, where appropriate. Such measures to also be promoted and, where appropriate, implemented by sub-regional or regional fisheries management organisations and arrangements in accordance with procedures agreed by such organisations or arrangements" (Article 7.7.3);
  6. States (in accordance with international law) and within the framework of sub-regional or regional fisheries organisations/arrangements, to co-operate to establish MCSE systems with respect to fishing operations and related activities in waters outside national jurisdiction (Article 8.1.4);
  7. States required to make every effort to ensure that documentation with regard to fishing operations, retained catch of fish and non-fish species;
  8. are and, as regards discards, the information required for stock assessment is decided by relevant management bodies, is collected and forwarded _systematically to those bodies, and_
  9. States as far as possible to establish programmes (e. g. observer and inspection schemes) to promote compliance with applicable measures (Article 8.4.3).

6.4 Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement (not in force)

6.4.1 Provisions

  1. Collect and share, in a timely manner, complete and accurate data concerning fishing activities, including vessel position, catch of target and non-target species and fishing effort, as well as information from national and international research programmes;
  2. Implement and enforce conservation and management measures through effective monitoring, control and surveillance(MCS);
  3. Obtain and share the best scientific information available and to implement improved techniques for dealing with risk and uncertainty, and
  4. Develop data collection and research programmes to assess impacts of fishing on non-target and associated or dependent species and their environment, and adopt plans to ensure conservation of such species and to protect habitats of special concern.

Regional/sub-regional fisheries organisations or arrangements are required to (Article10):

  1. Agree on standards for collection, reporting, verification and exchange of data on fisheries for stocks under their management;
  2. Compile and disseminate accurate and complete statistical data, and
  3. Establish appropriate co-operative mechanisms for effective monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement (MCSE) (Article 10).

Flag States are required to take a range of measures with respect to their vessels (Article. 8):

  1. Establishment of a national record/register of authorised high seas fishing vessels with access to such information to be made available to directly interested States as and when requested;
  2. Establishment and implementation of requirements relating to accurate recording and timely reporting of vessel position, catch of target and non-target species, fishing effort and other relevant fisheries data in accordance with sub-regional, regional and global standards for collection of such data;
  3. Establishment and implementation of requirements relating to verification of all relevant information reported to the Flag State by means of observer programmes, inspection schemes, unloading reports, supervision of transhipment and monitoring of landed catches and market statistics;
  4. Monitoring, control and surveillance of their high seas fishing vessels, their fishing operations and related activities through, for instance, the implementation of national inspection schemes and provision of rights of access to duly authorised inspectors from other States;
  5. Implementation of national, sub-regional and regional observer programmes with rights of access granted to observers from other States;
  6. Development and implementation of vessel monitoring systems, including, as appropriate, satellite transmitter systems, in accordance with national programmes and/or properly agreed sub-regional, regional or global programmes, and
  7. Ensure compatibility between Flag State MCSE systems and any sub-regional/regional/global systems that are in effect (Article 8(4).


This section provides a brief overview of fisheries monitoring provisions in (i) key tuna management agreements in the Southern hemisphere; (ii) the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The three areas covered by all treaties with variations in language are: (i) establishment of the relative roles, powers and obligations of States/regional organisations; (ii) facilitation of the exchange of scientific data, information and personnel; (iii) establishment of scientific observer programmes and enforcement schemes.

The language of obligation set out in many of these treaties is weak by contrast with for example, the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement and also in relation to the importance of the tasks. Typical provisions are: (i) to furnish, on the request of the Commission, any available information (ICCAT, Article IX); (ii) Members shall on request of the Commission, provide such available and accessible statistical and other data and information as the Commission may require (IOTC, Article XI); (iii) Members shall co-operate in collection and direct exchange, when appropriate (CCSBT, Article, 5). Fisheries monitoring is also covered by subsidiary instruments. These address a range of operational matters in depth. However these subsidiary instruments are still limited by the relatively weak language in the main agreements. Specification of data to be gathered is also by negotiation. The full data set required for high quality stock assessment may not be arrived at in these negotiations.



  1. To furnish, on the request of the Commission, any available statistical, biological and other scientific information the Commission may need for the purposes of the Convention.
  2. To allow the Commission to obtain such information on a voluntary basis direct from companies and individual fishermen when their official agencies are unable to obtain and furnish the information to the Commission.
  1. Recognised the need to collect adequate statistics on catch and fishing effort and the necessary biological data, and make available for publication the statistical and related economic data with a view to enabling the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, and
  2. Urged all countries to take steps without delay to create, where they do not already exist, offices within their fisheries administrations suitably staffed and having appropriate financial and legislative support to undertake the collection and the processing of the data to be used by the Commission.

8.2 IOTC

8.2.1 Institutions

  1. IOTC Commission undertakes continuous review of the conditions and trends of the stocks;
  2. Commission gathers, analyses and disseminates scientific information, catch and effort statistics and other data relevant to the conservation and management of the stocks;
  3. Commission encourages, recommends and co-ordinates research and development activities in respect of the stocks and fisheries covered by the Agreement;
  4. Commission decides scope and form of fisheries statistics and the intervals at which they shall be provided (Article XI), and
  5. Commission endeavours to obtain fishing statistics from fishing States or entities which are not Members of the Commission.

8.2.2 Member States

  1. Required to co-operate, through the Commission, in the establishment of an appropriate system to keep under review the implementation of conservation and management measures taking into account appropriate and effective tools and techniques to monitor the fishing activities and to gather the scientific information required for the purposes of the Agreement (Art. X(3));
  2. Members of the Commission agree to co-operate in exchanging information regarding on fishing by non-parties to the Convention (Art. X(4)), and
  3. Members of the Commission shall, on the request of the Commission, provide such available and accessible statistical and other data and information as the Commission may require (Article XI).


8.3.1 Institutions

  1. Scientific information, statistical data and other information relating to southern bluefin tuna and ecologically related species;
  2. Information relating to laws, regulations and administrative measures on southern bluefin tuna fisheries, and
  3. Any other information relating to southern bluefin tuna. The Commission is also required to develop, at the earliest possible time and consistent with international law, systems to monitor all fishing activities related to southern bluefin tuna in order to enhance scientific knowledge necessary for its conservation.

8.3.2 Member States

  1. Expeditiously provide to the Commission information, fishing catch and effort statistics and other data relevant to conservation of southern bluefin tuna and, as appropriate, ecologically related species.
  2. Co-operate in collection and direct exchange, when appropriate, of fisheries data, biological samples and other information relevant for scientific research on southern bluefin tuna and ecologically related species.
  3. Co-operate in the exchange of information regarding any fishing for southern bluefin tuna by nationals, residents and vessels of any State or entity not party to the Convention.


8.4.1 Institutions

  1. Compile data on the status of and changes in population of Antarctic marine living resources and on factors affecting the distribution, abundance and productivity of harvested species and dependent or related species or populations;
  2. Ensure the acquisition of catch and effort statistics on harvested populations, and
  3. Analyse, disseminate and publish the information referred to immediately above and the reports of the Scientific Committee.

8.4.2 Member States

  1. To provide annually to the Commission and to the Scientific Committee such statistical, biological and other data and information as the Commission and Scientific Committee may require in the exercise of their functions;
  2. To provide information about their harvesting activities, including fishing areas and vessels, so as to enable reliable catch and effort statistics to be compiled, and
  3. That in any of their harvesting activities, advantage shall be taken of opportunities to collect data needed to assess the impact of harvesting.

Article XXIV requires the establishment of a system of observation and inspection on the defined principles - both have been established and are fully operational


No quality standards are established and the precise information to be supplied may not be clear. The minimal attention to fisheries monitoring in the text of the Law of the Sea Convention exemplifies this trend.

The positive aspects of the Straddling Stocks treaty text are:

  1. The obligations of all categories of States are clearly set out with appropriate weight given to coastal State, flag State and port State obligations. This more closely matches the complexity of global patterns of vessel movement; fishing operations; transhipment; cross-substitutability of commercial valuable stocks; and trade;
  2. The framework of principles and duties at Article 1, 2, 3, 7 of Annex I provides a firm underpinning for the improvements in stock assessment and calculations of fishery effort that would make responsible fishing a reality. Of particular importance is the precise specification and identification of the core fisheries data essential to stock assessment and calculation of fishing effort; and the establishment of clear State obligation to collect and exchange data in a timely manner whilst taking care to generate data of high quality;
  3. There is a clear effort to establish quality standards at Articles 1 and 2 of the Annex and in Article 14 - good examples of this effort are the obligation imposed on States to ensure that data collected and exchanged permit "statistically meaningful analysis" and the linkage of data collected to the precise fishing method or operation used at sea, and
  4. Commercial confidentiality considerations are clearly identified, a welcome development which may enhance the willingness of commercial operators to generate the levels of high quality data required under the Agreement. There is also scope for subsidiary arrangements at regional levels to address this difficult issue in more detail.

A number of problems can also be anticipated. One such problem is the continuous generation of enormous amounts of information by fisheries monitoring systems. This can only be addressed by a parallel global effort in the area of information management, harmonisation and standardisation at national, regional and global levels. The lack of capacity in the developing nations is also another area of concern. Financial constraints will affect developing nation's participation in the new frameworks given that even for the more advanced economies, funding fisheries research adequately is a problem. Although provisions are now made routinely in international fisheries instruments for the provision of financial assistance to developing State Parties to discharge their obligations, there is, as yet, no mechanism at the international level to achieve this. The lack of technical and institutional capacity is too well understood to require any further discussion here. A related problem is the increasing dependence of fisheries data collection and exchange on complex technologies. In the poorer parts of the world, unless such technology is adequately funded and managed, the incentive to provide real time fisheries data will eventually be lost.

Commercial confidentiality is yet another important and complex problem area. A side effect of the advent of real time monitoring (e.g. through satellite vessel monitoring) is the increased commercial value of some of the data generated through monitoring. As demonstrated above, some of the recent global instruments recognise this problem and make provisions for the confidentiality of data collected. Although in practice, confidentiality issues may be dealt with through for example, the aggregation of data before it is released, tighter security audits and enacting legislation imposing penalties for unauthorised disclosure of data or information, fishing enterprises and some distant water fishing nations have continued to voice their concerns.

It is now increasingly acknowledged that non-governmental organisations have a constructive role to play in informed and transparent decision-making in the international system. Thus, the Report on International Law for Sustainable Development argues that: "non-governmental organisations should be provided with, at least, observer status in institutions and treaties and should be relied upon for expertise, information and for other purposes" In a situation where many NGOs have resources (technical and financial) far in excess of those possessed by many developing countries, it would be appropriate for NGOs to receive more formal recognition of their continuing role in fisheries monitoring.


  1. States need to be further encouraged to bring the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement into force so as to implement the framework established in Annex I.
  2. The international community needs to fully address the resource implications of the comprehensive approach to fisheries monitoring set out in the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement and whether this requirement is an appropriate approach to fisheries monitoring in various regional arrangements, given the significant resources required to re-shape existing fisheries organisations.
  3. Regional and national fisheries structures need strengthening to meet the data collection, exchange and analysis requirements of the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement.
  4. Clearer specification of State responsibility may be required in some of the areas traversed by the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement. A good example is the question of the quality of scientific data, an issue of heightened importance due to: (i) the increasingly precise specification of categories of fisheries data in the Straddling/Highly Migratory Stocks Agreement; (ii) the centrality of accurate data to ecologically driven approaches to fisheries management. The obvious legal question is what happens to entities that do not provide the quality of data required - is there a breach of treaty obligation? if so, what are the consequences?
  5. There is also a need for improved information management, especially in developing countries so that information gridlock and breach of confidentiality requirements can be avoided.

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