OBLIGATIONS TO PROTECT MARINE ECOSYSTEMS UNDER INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND OTHER LEGAL INSTRUMENTS Transform Aqorau Scientific Symposium of the Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem, 1-4 October 2001, Reykjavik, Iceland INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND LEGAL INSTRUMENTS 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity 1995 Jakarta Ministerial Statement on the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity 1976 Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing 2000 Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific 1995 Washington Declaration on Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities THE 1982 CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA Provides a framework for the regulation of all uses of the oceans and seas and framework for development of conservation and management measures Part XII of the Convention obliges all States to take measures to protect the marine environment and reduce, prevent, and control pollution of marine ecosystems Measures to conserve and manage living resources within the EEZ must take into account the effects of harvesting target species on species that are associated with or dependent on harvested species while ensuring that living resources are not endangered by overexploitation States are obliged to undertake measures to conserve the living resources on the high seas. While States have the right for their nationals to fish on the high seas, they must not contravene the objectives of the Convention. THE 1995 UNITED NATIONS FISH STOCKS AGREEMENT States must ensure the sustainable utilisation of fish stocks and assess the impacts of fishing on the marine environment States Parties must assess the impacts of fishing and other human activities on target species and species that are part of the same ecosystem States Parties must take into account the precautionary principle and uncertainties relating to data used in the development of conservation and management measures States Parties must adopt appropriate conservation and management measures to maintain or restore populations of species that are part of the same ecosystem as target species or associated/dependent species States Parties must establish conservation and management measures for habitats of special concern 1992 CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY States must adopt measures for in-situ conservation of biological diversity which should include establishing systems for protected areas for conserving biodiversity, regulation and management of biological resources and promote ecologically sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas. States shall rehabilitate and restore degraded ecosystems through the development and implementation of management plans and strategies and promote the in-situ protection of ecosystems, natural habitats and the maintenance of viable populations of species States must regulate and manage the collection of biological resources from habitats to ensure that the survival of in-situ species, populations and ecosystems is not threatened. 1995 JAKARTA MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLGICAL DIVERSITY Links conservation, the use of biodiversity and fishing activities and establishes a new global consensus on the importance of marine and coastal biodiversity The Mandate identifies integrated management of marine and coastal areas; marine and coastal protected areas; ecologically sustainable use of marine and coastal living resources, mariculture and aliens species as being of critical importance 1976 CONVENTION ON CONSERVATION OF NATURE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC States Parties must establish protected areas to safeguard, inter alia, samples of natural ecosystems and endangered species States Parties must also protect indigenous species especially indigenous and migratory species being exploited in an unsustainable manner or under threat of extinction 1995 FAO CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES Fisheries management measures must ensure the protection of not only target species but also non-target, associated or dependent species States must apply the precautionary principle in conserving, managing and exploiting fisheries resources and use selective fishing gear and reduce waste, discards and catch of non-target species States must implement appropriate measures to minimise wastes, discards, ghost-fishing, bycatch and negative impacts of fishing on associated or dependent species States should improve their understanding of the status of fisheries by collecting appropriate data and exchanging information with all relevant groups CONVENTION FOR THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS IN THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL PACIFIC Objective is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific States Parties must adopt measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of highly migratory fish stocks, minimise wastes, discards and other impacts associated with fishing States Parties must apply the precautionary approach and protect the marine biodiversity, prevent or eliminate overexploitation of fish stocks and enforce conservation measures through effective monitoring, control and surveillance 1995 WASHINGTON DECLARATION ON PROTECTION OF THE States must adopt measures to prevent/and or mitigate impacts on the marine environment resulting from land-based activities States must promote access to knowledge, expertise and cleaner technologies to address land-based activities that impact upon the marine environment; States must promote measures to address the consequences of seabased activities which require national/and or regional land-based actions such as recycling facilities. NATIONAL RESPONSES AND POLICIES FOR PROTECTING THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT Australia’s National Oceans Policy Canada’s Oceans Act European Union Green Paper on Fisheries AUSTRALIA’S OCEANS POLICY Promote and facilitate the development of an integrated and ecosystem-based approach to ocean management and conservation Objective is, amongst other things, the protection of Australia’s marine biodiversity, ocean environment and to ensure that the uses of oceanic resources are ecologically sustainable Development of regional marine planning for large marine ecosystems to facilitate and integrated and ecosystems-based oceans planning Promote ecologically sustainable fisheries practices CANADA’S OCEANS ACT Establishes obligations to manage and protect Canada’s oceans Minister must develop and implement a national strategy to facilitate the development and implementation of an integrated management plan for all activities and measures that affect Canada’s estuarine, coastal and marine waters Minister can establish marine protected areas specifically for the conservation and protection of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, threatened or endangered species and their habitats EUROPEAN UNION GREEN PAPER ON FISHERIES Implementation of multi-annual an ecosystem oriented management Introduction and promotion of the use of selectivity devices that reduce or eliminate bycatches of non-target species and of fishing methods that have a reduced physical impact on the environment CONCLUSIONS The international legal framework for an ecosystems-based approach to fisheries management is sufficient and comprehensive There is an increasing albeit slow trend towards adoption of an ecosystems-based fisheries management model Regional and national efforts are moving towards an ecosystems-based approach with countries and regional organisations realising that traditional approaches to fisheries management are inadequate. The capacity of developing countries to also play a critical role in fisheries management must be enhanced through the provision of technical and other forms of assistance.