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Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance

Directives Volontaires pour la Conduite de l''Etat du Pavillon / Directrices Voluntarias para la Actuación del Estado del Pabellón











Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance. Directives volontaires pour la conduite de l’État du pavillon. Directrices Voluntarias para la Actuación del Estado del Pabellón



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    Book (stand-alone)
    Good practices guidelines (GCP) on national seafood traceability systems 2018
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    There is little doubt that IUU fishing has a negative impact on the economic, social and ecological attributes of fisheries and this affects food security. Specifically, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has contributed to a reduction in food supply, losses of livelihood and state revenue, diminishing fish stocks, and damaging ecosystems, with the most devastating effects felt in developing countries by virtue of their greater vulnerability. These illegal activities form a complex web – from illegal fishing to illegal trade, and persistent catching from unsustainably fished stocks – with the overall objective of making a high profit from illegally caught fish. Members of the FAO Committee on Fisheries have agreed on the need for good practice guidelines for national fishery authorities to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through the effective implementation of flag state responsibilities. The guidelines are wide-ranging and address the purpose and principles, as well as the scope of application, performance assessment criteria and cooperation between states. They are expected to provide a valuable tool to strengthen the compliance of flag states in terms of their international duties and obligations regarding the flagging and control of fishing vessels.
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    Document
    Report of the IOTC Performance Review Panel 2009
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    In response to calls from the intertiol community for a review of the performance of Regiol Fisheries Magement Organisations (RFMOs), the Indian Ocean Tu Commission (IOTC) agreed in 2007 to implement a process of Performance Review. The IOTC formed a Review Panel, consisting of an independent legal expert, an independent scientific expert, six IOTC Members and a non-governmental organisations observer, which concluded its report to the Commission in January 2009. The Panel’s review was based on the criteria developed as a result of a joint meeting of tu RFMOs, Kobe, Japan, 2007 and concentrated on the following issues: Adequacy of the Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission (IOTC Agreement) relative to current principles of fisheries magement, Consistency between scientific advice and conservation and magement measures adopted, ?? Effectiveness of control measures established by the IOTC; and Efficiency and transparency of fincial and administrative magement. KEY FINDINGS OF THE PERFORMANCE REVIEW PANEL I. The legal framework of the IOTC Agreement: The alysis of the legal text of the IOTC Agreement identified a series of gaps and weaknesses which can be summarized as follows: The IOTC Agreement is outdated as it does not take account of modern principles for fisheries magement. The absence of concepts such as the precautiory approach and an ecosystem based approach to fisheries magement are considered to be major weaknesses. The lack of clear delinea tion of the functions of the Commission or flag State and port State obligations provide examples of significant impediments to the effective and efficient functioning of the Commission. The limitation on participation to this RFMO, deriving from IOTC’s legal status as an Article XIV Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) body, conflicts with provisions of United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) and prevents major fishing players in the Indian Ocean from discharging their obligations to cooperate in the work of the Commission. The IOTC relationship to FAO, most notably in the budgetary context, negatively affects the efficiency of the work of the Commission, with neither Members nor the Secretariat in full control of the budget. This also raises questions relating to the level of transparency in the Commission’s fincial arrangements. ????? The Panel recommends that the IOTC Agreement either be amended or replaced by a new instrument. The decision on whether to amend the Agreement or replace it should be made taking into account the full suite of deficiencies identified in the Review. II. The criteria-based alysis of the performance of the Commission: The alysis based on the Performance Review criteria highlighted numerous weaknesses in the workings of the Commission, of which the most important have been identified as: High levels of uncertainty The quantitative data provided for many of the stocks under the IOTC Agreement is very limited. This is due to lack of compliance, a large proportion of catches being taken by artisal fisheries, for which there is very limited information, and lack of cooperation of non-Members of the IOTC. The data submitted to the Commission is frequently of poor quality. This contributes to high levels of uncertainty concerning the status of many stocks under the IOTC mandate. Poor record of compliance and limited tools for addressing non-compliance Low levels of compliance with IOTC measures and obligations a re commonplace. The Commission to date has taken very limited actions to remedy this situation – there are currently no sanctions/pelties for non-compliance in place. Moreover, the list of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) vessels applies to non-Members only. Special requirements of developing States Many developing States are experiencing serious capacity/infrastructure constraints which impede their ability to comply with their obligations, especially in terms of data collection, repor ting and processing. A number of developing States also lack appropriate scientific expertise and, even where such expertise is available, budgetary constraints limit their participation in Commission meetings, particularly those of the Scientific Committee and working parties. III. In light of these findings, and in addition to the specific recommendations made against each of the criteria, the Review Panel draws the Commission’s attention to the following overarching issues Uncertainty Address ing uncertainty in data and in the stock assessments is one of the most fundamental and urgent actions required to improve the performance of the Commission. This will require a variety of actions of which the most important are: application of scientific assessment methods appropriate to the data/information available, establishing a regiol scientific observer programme to enhance data collection for target and non-target species, and improving data collection and reporting capacity of developi ng States. Also engaging non-Members actively fishing in the area is of critical importance to addressing uncertainty. Equally important are developing a framework to take action in the face of uncertainty in scientific advice and enhancement of functioning and participation in the Scientific Committee and subsidiary bodies. Compliance It is imperative to strengthen the ability of the Compliance Committee to monitor non-compliance and advise the Commission on actions which might be taken in resp onse to non-compliance. Sanction mechanisms for non-compliance and provisions for follow-up on infringements should be developed. The Resolution on the establishment of the IUU list should be amended to allow for the inclusion of vessels flagged to Members. Special requirements of developing States Increased fincial support for capacity building should be provided to developing States. The Commission should enhance already existing funding mechanisms to build developing States’ capacity for data collection, processing and reporting, as well as technical and scientific capabilities. In this context, the possibility of establishing a special fund to facilitate participation in the Commission’s work, including subsidiary groups should be considered. Strengthening the Secretariat’s role/ability to undertake targeted capacity building should be explored.
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    Book (series)
    Fishing vessels operating under open registers and the exercise of flag State responsibilities. Information and options. 2002
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    The number of fishing vessels operating under open registers is increasing. A related concern is to secure the effective control of fishing vessels by the flag State. This concern is evidenced by a range of post-United Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) international instruments that progressively include clearer and more thorough duties of the flag State. The purpose of this paper is to review activities relating to the fishing fleets of countries with open registries and, in par ticular, those activities that result from countries not exercising effective flag State control over those fleets. It is based on information available in the public domain and communications with officials in States, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations and international organizations and agencies. The current interpretation of the provision on the need for a “genuine link” between a ship and its flag is to secure more effective implementation of the duties of the flag State. An ai m of this paper is to report on how and where this is being achieved. Flag State responsibilities in relation to fishing vessels are reviewed as they appear in the recent international instruments: the 1982 Convention, the FAO Compliance Agreement, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. The rationale for maintaining or using open reg istries is discussed from the point of view of the open registry State, the shipowner and the fishing vessel owner. National policy, legislation and administrative arrangements for open registers is explained. The varying degrees of control and compliance implemented by the flag State is noted, and the effect of this on fishing fleets flying its flag is observed.

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