Obligations to Protect Marine Ecosystems Under International Conventions and other Legal Instruments Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/conference_proceedings_or_journals/pv63g143v

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  • Traditional approaches to fisheries management, which have been singular, species-based and non-sectoral, have failed to protect the world’s fisheries resources. This has resulted in the overexploitation of fish stocks, displacement of fishing fleets and dislocation of fishing communities. The first attempts at international regulation of fisheries were simple, but premised on the notion that the ocean’s resources were inexhaustible. This belief influenced attitudes towards exploitation of the fisheries resources, in particular, and conservation and management of those resources in general. Improved understanding of the ocean’s and the exhaustibility of fisheries resources has resulted in a change both in the approach towards fisheries management, and the kind of responses developed by the international community. It is now accepted that it is not possible to simply manage a fishery by merely controlling the quantity of fish taken out of the oceans. Account must be taken of all factors affecting the resource, including the impact of human activities from land-based sources. New, more modern, comprehensive and holistic approaches have been developed in recent years to address fishery problems. One of these is the ecosystem management approach. This paper examines a number of key international instruments, which demonstrate the extent to which ecosystem management has been applied to conservation of fishery resources. The paper begins by outlining the major obligations of instruments of global applications which include, amongst others, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC)1, and the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity.2 The paper also discusses a number of regional initiatives towards ecosystem approaches to fishery conservation and management, and highlights the problems impinging on the effective implementation of these initiatives. The paper concludes by pointing out that the most notable strengths of the international instruments studied for this paper, are the instruments themselves, as they attempt to establish a global framework for conservation and management of marine environments and resources. The inclusion of the ecosystem approach is a positive element as it moves away from the traditional species and stock focus.
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  • Aqorau, Transform. 2002. Obligations to Protect Marine Ecosystems Under International Conventions and other Legal Instruments. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, August 19-22, 2002, Wellington, New Zealand: Fisheries in the Global Economy. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2002. CD ROM.
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