This paper was produced in order to address the issues of sustainable management of marine resources within the commonwealth. The paper identifies the main problems and concerns of commonwealth fisheries and their possible solutions within the context of International policy developments such as:

• UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Entry into force in 1994)

• Agreement on the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. (N.B. At the second meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Small States, 9/11/95 - Governments were encouraged to ratify the Convention urgently to ensure its early implementation).

• FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing

• Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP, November 1995)

• The Major Policy Issues identified and discussed include;

• Developing and implementing effective policies on fisheries

• How to reconcile conservation and development needs.

• How to reconcile large scale commercial fishing with needs of subsistence fishing communities.

• Policy instruments to increase sustainability of fisheries.

• Strengthening national fishery management authorities (participation of fishing communities.

• Developing integrated coastal fisheries management.

• Improving communication agencies responsible for fisheries and those responsible for fisheries protection.

• Surveillance and Protection of Exclusive Economic Zones

• Improving the terms for granting foreign access to fisheries (capturing greater rents)

• Strengthening international, regional and sub-regional arrangements to implement conservation and management measures, particularly for transboundary and shared fishery resources.

• Reducing marine pollution emanating from land-based and other sources (especially where such pollution impacts on fisheries); and integrated management of coastal areas

  • Danger that competition for the resources of the oceans will be the cause of conflict between nations. Already the case with respect to over-fishing, mineral and petroleum resources.
  • Very real danger that concerns of small island states will be overlooked, and their sovereignty compromised.

Name of Client

UK Government

Project Dates