Report Mapping Distant-Water Fisheries Access Arrangements

Year published: 2022

The study was commissioned by the Trade and Markets Team (NFIMT) of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the FAO GLOBEFISH project with the support of the Government of Iceland.

This report presents a mapping of the major arrangements for accessing marine capture fisheries in foreign jurisdictional waters, with a particular emphasis on developing countries. The report is the first phase of a comprehensive study on analysing fishing access arrangements from an economic angle to facilitate the identification of opportunities to enhance the trade of fisheries-related services, particularly for developing countries. It focuses exclusively on industrial-scale activities, including vessels locally flagged and registered where the business is not beneficially owned in the country. The conceptual framing emphasizes that businesses, not states, engage in fishing activities. In addition, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), sovereign rights over marine resources are considered a form of state property and a public asset.

The case studies encompass Japan, the European Union (EU), China, Taiwan Province of China, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the Philippines. Each case analysis presents the leading players, the overall approach, and the structure of access arrangements. Different analytical techniques for mapping each case were adapted to highlight the more critical contextual trends or evidence contingent issues.

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