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Globalisation and Fisheries

Proceedings of an OECD-FAO Workshop

image of Globalisation and Fisheries
This conference proceedings highlights the key risks and opportunities that policy makers need to address relative to fisheries globalisation so that on the one hand, the opportunities that are created are not missed while, on the other, the risks are addressed appropriately. It presents a wide range of experiences and points of view from every part of the value chain of the fisheries industry, including fishers, processors, consumers, NGOs, restaurant and retail chains, as well as government and academic experts.

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Identifying the Parameters with which We Are Working in the Harvesting Sector

Michael Lodge presented the legal framework governing access to high seas fish stocks. He explained that sub-optimal utilization of high seas fish stocks is an economic problem, caused by the common property nature of the fisheries and the open access regime on the high seas. Inefficient utilisation of shared stocks could be costing the global economy an estimated USD 50 billion per annum. The United Nations Law of the Sea (LOS) and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement form the basis for a legal framework governing access to high seas resources. A fundamental condition arising from LOS is the duty for states to co-operate in managing shared fish stocks and high seas resources. The paradigm for co-operation is the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO). There is no possibility for unilateral action and members have a duty to cooperate even when they fail to agree. Non-members who do not agree with RFMO members are not discharged from the duty to cooperate. Where no RFMO exists, states are under a duty to cooperate to establish one or, at least, apply conservation measures consistent with the LOS. Michael Lodge highlighted the major threats to the stability of RFMOs. They include free riding; IUU fishing; the failure to heed the special requirements of developing countries; failure to deal with new members; and failure to agree on allocation. This last point is made more difficult by the dual role of States who act in a capacity of both allocating and managing. In addition, developing countries form the bulk of RFMO participation, but not the bulk of allocation rights. Other challenges include a greater role for industry and overlapping areas with national management. Conditions for success include effective conservation and management practices (such as adopting ecosystem and precautionary approaches), emphasis on better implementation, RFMO performance assessment and review, guidelines on best practice, and global standards for RFMOs accompanied by more transparent accountability.

English

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