Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Collective arrangements for managing ocean fisheries

  • Charles B. Heck

Abstract

With the great spread and intensification of marine fisheries exploitation, the traditional fisheries regime of free and open access (part of traditional “freedom of the seas”) has been modified by many regional or stock-related management arrangements, and is now undergoing drastic change through a radical extension of coastal state jurisdictions. This article deals mostly with the development of various regional and stock-related arrangements. After sketching the overall purposes of management, the aiticle details some of the differences among competing states which have delayed or limited management arrangements, or otherwise complicated their development. Issues of allocation may be uppermost for competing interests, discussed here in the context of shifts from undivided to divided catch limits. The regulatory powers of intergovernmental fisheries commissions have generally been quite limited. While fisheries scientists have in some cases performed vital roles in encouraging regional arrangements, their information and advice has been of limited scope and influence in securing more restrictive regulatory regimes. FAO's Committee on Fisheries (COFI) might be called a global fisheries commission, though much of its most important work has related to amimating and supporting arrangements of a regional character. The radical shift outward of national jurisdictions is rearranging fisheries exploitation in most parts of the world. Given the nature of the resource, however, some forms of regional or stock arrangements will still be needed if the overall purposes of management are to be realized.

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 The example is drawn from Carroz, J. E., “The Richness of the Sea: Fisheries” in The Future of the Law of the Sea, Proceedings of the Symposium organized at Den Heldei, June 1972, Bouchez, L. J. and Kaijen, L. (eds.), (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), p. 84.

2 Sometimes the terms have been used when indicators like catch per unit effort or average size of fish landed fall off considerably, which is likely to happen before total yields turn downward.

3 Skolnikoff, Eugene B., The International Imperatives of Technology: Technological Development and the International Political System, Research Series no. 16 (Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, 1972), p. 53.

4 Christy, Francis T. Jr, “Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Arrangements: A Test of the Species Approach,” Ocean Development and International Law Journal 1 (Spring 1973): p. 77.

5 Pontecorvo, Giulio, “Critique” (of immediately preceding paper), in International Rules and Organization for the Sea, Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1968, Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1969), p. 276.

6 Dunlop, Henry A., “Management of the Halibut Fishery of the North-Eastern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea” in Papers Presented at the International Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea, April 18– May 10, 1955, Rome, United Nations Document A/CONF.10/7 (New York: United Nations, 1956), p. 225. Emphasis added.

7 Lucas, Cyril E., “Regulation of North Sea Fisheries under the Convention of 1946” in Papers Presented ai the International Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea, April 18– May 10, 1955, Rome, United Nations Document A/CONF.10/7 (New York: United Nations, 1956), p. 168.

8 Dunlop, p. 225.

9 Says Dunlop (ibid., p. 223): “The experiment of joint international regulation of the halibut fishery in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean by the nations directly involved has been both so unique and so successful as to set a pattern for the management of international coastal fisheries.” In more recent years, the stock has suffered a serious decline.

10 Koers, Albeit W., International Regulation of Marine Fisheries: A Study of Regional Fisheries Organizations (London: Fishing News [Books] Ltd., 1973), p. 89.

11 McKernan, Donald, “International Fisheries Arrangements Beyond the Twelve Mile Limit,” in International Rules and Organization for the Sea, Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1968, Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1969), p. 259.

12 Quoted in Leonard, L. Larry, International Regulation of Fisheries, Monograph Series of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Division of International Law, no. 7 (Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944), pp. 106–07.

13 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (1946), Article V, paragraph 2. A copy of this convention can be found in US Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, Treaties and Other International Agreements on Oceanographic Resources, Fisheries, and Wildlife to which the United States is Party, prepared by the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1970), pp. 301–19.

14 The MSY goal was attractive also, as Kasahara writes, as a more readily acceptable common denominator than any other criterion. Kasahara, Hiroshi, “International Fishery Disputes,” in Rothschild, Brian J. (ed.), World Fisheries Policy: Multidisciplinary Views (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1972), p. 26.

15 Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (1949), Article II, paragraph 5. A copy of this convention can be found in US Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, pp. 170–77. Emphasis added.

16 International Convention for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (1949), Article VIII, paragraph 1. A copy of this convention can be found in US Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, pp. 150–59. Emphasis added.

17 Joseph, James, “The Scientific Management of the World Stocks of Tunas, Biilfishes and Related Species,” FAO Document FI:FMD/73/S-48, 02 1973, p. 19. (This is a paper presented at the Technical Conference on Fishery Management and Development held in Vancouver in February 1973.)

18 Carroz, J. E., “Establishment, Structure, Functions and Activities of International Fisheries Bodies: II Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC),” FAO Fisheries Technical Papers no. 58 (Rome, 1965), p. 8.

19 Sullivan, William L. Jr, in Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), The Law of the Sea: Needs and Interests of Developing Countries, (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1973), p. 126.

20 On these national quota arrangements see Möcklinghoff, G., “Management and Development of Fisheries in the North Atlantic,” FAO Document FI:FMD/73/R-10, 02 1973, pp. 1721. See also Edelman, M.S. and Dokuchaev, I.I., “The Development of National Quotas by the International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries,” FAO Document FI: FMD/73/S-41, 02 1973. (These are papers presented at the Technical Conference on Fishery Management and Development held in Vancouver in February 1973.)

21 In the Eastern Pacific tuna case, decisions in the informal framework were validated by the Commission. On the working of this commission and the associated meetings, see Office of the Assistant Director for International Affairs, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, US Department of the Interior, “Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission” (unpublished, Washington, D.C., 1969).

22 Serioas problems have been created by the migration of some Alaskan salmon beyond the line initially drawn as the maximum westward extension of “abstention.” These stocks have, therefore, been somewhat exploited by Japanese interests. In the area in question, there is mingling with salmon spawning in Asia.

23 See Tomasevich, Jozo, International Agreements on Conservation of Marine Resources, Food Research Institute Commodity Policy Studies no. 1 (Stanford, Calif.: Food Research Institute, Stanford University, 1943), p. 87.

24 Ibid., pp. 239, 260–61. Tomasevich also presents other important factors in the delay of salmon regulation.

25 Ibid., p. 165.

26 An international commission to watch over these arrangements and coordinate research was not created until 1957.

27 Crutchfield, James A., “National Quotas for the North Atlantic Fisheries: An Exercise in Second Best,” in International Rules and Organization for the Sea, Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1968, Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1969), pp. 270–72.

28 This is in a 1956 protocol amending the 1930 convention. See article III of the protocol, adding to Article VI of the basic convention. See Koers, p. 189.

29 For instance, Koers reports that the Salmon Commission held nineteen sessions in 1970. See Koers, pp. 135, 149.

30 On negotiations in the earlier years of this commission, established in 1956, see Johnston, Douglas M., The International Law of Fisheries (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), pp. 394–96.

31 Small, George L., The Blue Whale (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971), p. 177.

32 The time period was 90 days for the whaling convention. This is one variable in such procedures, obviously. Other variables would involve, for instance, what happens when an objection is filed. In the whaling case, the effective date of regulations was pushed back another ninety days to give others time to consider objecting. Measures to which some had objected could come into effect for others.

33 Under the old procedure, there had developed “a serious accumulation of proposals, and amendments and reservations to proposals, which had not been fully accepted.” Lucas, Cyril E., “International Fishery Bodies of the North Atlantic,” Law of the Sea Institute, University of Rhode Island, Occasional Paper no. 5 (Kingston, R.I.: 04 1970), p. 19.

34 Carroz, J. E. and Roche, A. G., “The Proposed International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas,” American Journal of International Law 61 (07 1967): pp. 686–88.

35 Carroz, J. E. and Roche, A. G., “The International Policing of High Seas Fisheries,” in The Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 1968, vol. 9 (Vancouver: The University of British Columbia Press, 1968), p. 88.

36 Report of the International Law Commission, General Assembly Official Records: Sixth Session, 1951, Supplement no. 9, p. 19.

37 Ibid., p. 19. This is from draft articles presented for the General Assembly's consideration.

38 Ibid., p. 19.

39 It has been claimed these provisions were important in clearing the way for the move in the Whaling Commission a few years later to engage outside independent scientific advice, a move discussed below. Herrington, William C., in Discussion in The United Nations and Ocean Management, Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1970, Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1971), p. 70.

40 Article 1, paragraph 2. A copy of this convention can be found in Johnston, pp. 488–95.

41 Herrington has classified the non-ratifiers into four general groups. One group, led by the Soviet Union, objected to the obligatory settlement procedures. A second group, comprised of coastal states desiring wider national jurisdictions, worried that acceptance of the international management aspects of the convention would somehow handicap their jurisdictional aims. The third group was the opposite of the second, perversely, objecting to the special interests of coastal states recognized in the convention. The fourth was comprised of those for whom the convention was not sufficiently salient or who, given its poor record of ratification by others, did not wish to submit themselves to any restrictions it might entail. Herrington, William C., “The Future of the Geneva Convention on Fishing and the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea,” in The Future of the Sea's Resources, Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1967, Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1968), pp. 62–3.

42 Article: 2. This follows for the most part elaboration agreed upon at the 1955Technical Conference” held by the United Nations at FAO headquarters in Rome. See paragraph 18, p. 2 of the Report of the International Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea, 18 04 to 10 05 1955, Rome, United Nations Document A/CONF.10/6.

43 Article 7 and Article 10.

44 Koers, p. 72.

45 Herrington, William C., in Discussion in The United Nations and Ocean Management, Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1970, Lewis Alexander, M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1971), p. 70.

46 Holt, Sidney, “Scientific Advice to International Organizations,” Dialogue Discussion Paper, The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (unpublished, Santa Barbara: 03 1972), p. 7. Emphasis in original.

47 An exception was made for the FAO expert, who was a British national. Holt, the FAO expert involved, tells us that another requirement was that one not be a specialist on whales! Ibid., p. 8.

48 Johnston, pp. 405–09; Small, pp. 196–203; Herrington (1971), p. 70; Holt, p. 8.

49 Johnston, p. 43n. In the decades just before, one finds, it appears, a flowering of the notion that depletion was no t a serious worry and that conservation regulations were therefore unnecessary in sea fisheries in the area. A whole set of British national regulations controlling exploitation of coastal stocks were repealed, for instance, at this time. Johnston tells us (p. 326) that “the redoubtable T. H. Huxley is given much credit for urging repeal of the British fishery restrictions in the 1860s. At the International Fisheries Exhibition of 1883, in delivering the inaugural address, he went further and expressed the opinion that the cod, herring, pilchard, and mackerel fisheries, and probably all the great sea fisheries, were inexhaustible, and that any attempt to regulate these fisheries seemed, from the nature of the case, to be useless.”

50 Herrington, William C. and Kask, John L., “International Conservation Problems, and Solutions in Existing Conventions” in Papers Presented at the International Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea, 18 April–10 May 1955, Rome, United Nations Document A/CONF.10/7 (New York: United Nations, 1956), p. 147.

51 Ibid., p. 149.

52 Lucas, Cyril E., “Scientific Advice to Fisheries Bodies,” FAO Document FI:FMD/73/S-19, 01 1973, p. 9. (This is a paper presented at the Technical Conference on Fishery Management and Development held in Vancouver in February 1973.)

53 Lucas, , “International Fishery Bodies of the North Atlantic,” p. 9.

54 At the first General Conference of FAO member-governments, in the fall of 1945, the fisheries committee of the Conference recommended that the organization “explore the possibility of eventually coordinating the activities of these organizations under the auspices of FAO.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Report of the First Session of the Conference (1945), p. 35.

55 The Southwest Atlantic council was developed after the old Latin American Fisheries Council idea finally died. The Eastern Central Atlantic council was put together after an abortive attempt to carry on one organization for the whole west coast of the continent, down through South Africa.

56 Jackson, Roy I., “Some Observations on the Future Growth of World Fisheries and the Nature of the Conservation Problem” in The Future of the Sea's Resources, Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the Law of the Sea Institute, June 1967, Alexander, Lewis M. (ed.), (Kingston, R.I.: University of Rhode Island, 1968), p. 12. At this time, Jackson was the Assistant Director-General for Fisheries of FAO.

57 FAO Document COFI/73/7, p. 3.

58 Marr, J. C., “Management and Development of Fisheries in the Indian Ocean,” FAO Document FI:FMD/73/R-8, 02 1973, p. 6. (This is a paper presented at the Technical Conference on Fishery Management and Development held in Vancouver in February 1973.)

59 These are words from a resolution adopted by the FAO General Conference in 1963. FAO General Conference Resolution no. 8/63, “Fisheries Development.”

60 Some important non-member governments have participated as well, notably the Soviet Union. Some say the Soviet Union would join FAO were fisheries the only concern of the organization.

61 This discussion has been entwined with debate over the future constitutional structure of COFI and its relationship to FAO. Some have argued for the reconstitution of COFI under another article of the FAO Constitution, allowing the Committee more independence and perhaps authority. Funds could then be raised independently for the Committee's activities, breaking through some present constraints. A more radical suggestion would break fisheries activities away from FAO, perhaps placing them in some new United Nations specialized agency for the oceans.

62 For a discussion of possible global involvements see Miles, Edward, Organizational Arrangements to Facilitate Global Management of Fisheries, Paper no. 4, Program of International Studies of Fishery Arrangements (Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1974).

63 Jackson, p. 11.

Charles B. Heck Assistant to the Director of the Trilateral Commission and a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Yale University. The author wishes to give particular thanks to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for research support.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed