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Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (Fish Stocks Agreement)

The United Nations convened a 3-year negotiating process that culminated in the adoption of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement in 1995. The United States participated actively in those negotiations and became one of the first States to ratify it. The Agreement, which entered into force in December 2001, is recognized as an important instrument for achieving sustainable fisheries around the globe. As a management regime, it set out principles for the conservation of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. It also introduced new principles and concepts to fisheries management, including the precautionary approach, vessel monitoring systems (VMS), compatibility of conservation and management measures, transparency of activities within subregional and regional fishery management organizations, compliance of nonmember states with fishery management organizations' measures, high seas boarding and inspection, port state measures, and data collection and sharing standards.

United Nations General Assembly Resolutions

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was not known as a forum for the discussion of fisheries issues through most of its history, but this changed in the 1990s when it took up the problem of large-scale, pelagic driftnet fishing on the high seas. UNGA Resolution 44/225, adopted in 1990, called for a moratorium on the use of this fishing gear on the high seas by June 30, 1992. This Resolution was supplanted by UNGA Resolution 46/215, which delayed the effective date of the moratorium until December 31, 1992. Since that time, UNGA has adopted resolutions at least biennially calling for various actions and asking the Secretary General to make status reports on the implementation of those actions. The National Marine Fisheries Service has worked with the Department of State to prepare a U.S. submission at every such opportunity. In addition, UNGA regularly addresses in its resolutions unauthorized fishing in zones of national jurisdiction and on the high seas; overfishing and overcapacity; fisheries bycatch and discards; the conservation and management of sharks; illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing; the ecosystem approach; promoting more widespread acceptanceof the Food and Agriculture Organization Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas; and promoting more widespread acceptance of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

Reports of the Meetings of the States Parties to the Agreement

Review Conferences

UN Convention on Law of the Sea

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