Seychelles attends Resumed Review Conference on the UN Fish Stock Agreement |01 June 2023
Seychelles was represented at the Review Conference on the UN Fish Stock Agreement (UNFSA) that took place from May 22-26, 2023 at the UN headquarters in New York.
This conference is mandated by Article 36 of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of December 10, 1982, and relates to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish stocks and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 59/25.
The meeting was officially opened by Stephan Mathias, the UN assistant secretary general for Legal Affairs and was followed by the election of the President of the Resumed Review Conference. The delegates elected Joji Morishita (Japan) by acclamation.
The Review Conference hailed the significant progress made in the implementation of several of the recommendations that were made at the Review Conference in 2016. However, the delegates also expressed concern at the lack of progress in other areas, such as the overall status of highly migratory and straddling fish stocks which has not advanced since 2016 despite improvements for some stocks and regions. Further to that, there was a proposal to strengthen the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement to better address any ongoing issues in conservation and management.
The Review Conference concluded with recommendations to:
- integrate ecosystem considerations in fisheries management;
- reduce the world’s fishing capacity to levels that commensurate with the sustainability of fish stocks;
- strengthen regional fisheries management organisations’ (RFMOs) mandates to implement modern approaches to fisheries;
- conduct RFMO performance reviews;
- develop a legally-binding instrument on the minimum standards for port state measures and a comprehensive global register of fishing vessels;
- expand assistance to developing countries; and
- establish a continuing dialogue to address concerns raised by non-parties.
At the end of the meeting, the delegates decided to suspend rather than formally close the Review Conference which in return provides an opportunity for it to resume at a later date.
Seychelles was represented by the director general for the department of Fisheries, Ms Sheriffa Morel and the senior policy analyst, Stephanie Radegonde.