Un Straddling Fish Stocks Agreement

No ORP has taken sufficient measures to manage, fully manage sharks caught in large numbers of water, and the fisheries exploited contribute significantly to the global decline of large pelagic sharks. In addition, members of several PMOs cited incomplete information to justify the delay or rejection of proposals to implement the necessary conservation measures. This goes against their obligations under the agreement to apply the precautionary approach. For vulnerable species of sharks and rays, this inactivity could lead to a collapse of stocks, as is the case for white-tipped ocean sharks in the world.72 Most PROs require some kind of monitoring of fishing vessels using VMS, either for all authorized vessels or for vessels of a certain size. However, with a few exceptions, most OF the systems imposed by THE ORPs do not guarantee that the data is sufficiently accurate or require that the data be shared with the authorities. In addition, VMS requirements have not been fully implemented by some states due to limited capacity or other challenges. PROs continue to add non-compliant vessels to the list of vessels authorized to fish in their areas of the convention. UNFSA Article 5, point (d) provides that states cooperate to « assess the impact of fishing, other human activities and environmental factors on target stocks and species belonging to the same ecosystem, linked or dependent on target stocks. » Subsection 5 provides that they « must, where appropriate, take conservation and management measures for species belonging to the same ecosystem or related or dependent on the targeted stocks in order to maintain or restore populations of these species above the level at which their reproduction may be seriously threatened. » Since the adoption of the Fisheries Resources Agreement, the international community has reached a consensus on the need to improve the identification of fishing vessels by requiring the use of unique and permanent identification numbers. These figures will help to reach the call of the review conference which resumed in 2010 « [e]xpedite efforts … Creating a unique vessel identification system as part of a global registration of fishing vessels worldwide. This will help to combat illegal fishing. In 2013, IMO repealed an exemption for fishing vessels from its « IMO numbering regime. » Since then, the RFMOs have quickly engaged in the setting of IMO numbers for all authorized vessels. A review of the measures taken by the five tuna PMOs shows a number of progress in adopting harvesting strategies, which are the pre-agreed framework for fisheries management decisions, how and when quotas will be set.

These strategies include specific rules to ensure that action is taken when the size of stocks or fishing violations are carried out against scientifically sound benchmarks. However, progress is limited. No management organization has adopted a harvesting strategy for more than 25% of a region`s stocks. The success of the management of the tuna fishery is a complex task. These fish populations extend beyond man-made borders and beyond international waters and make regional decision-making crucial for effective management. The UN Fisheries Resources Agreement (UNFSA) has been in force since 2001 and requires countries to cooperate in the management of common fish stocks, such as tuna. They usually do so through the work of regional fishing organizations (ORPs). Appendix II states that « the fishing mortality rate produced by the MDR should be considered a minimum standard for limit values » (emphasized).