INTRODUCTION The organizational session and the first substantive session of the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (hereafter the 1993 Conference) were held in April and July 1993, respectively, against the backdrop of a warning by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that world marine fisheries catches had peaked at 86 million mt in 1989. Since then they have decreased consecu- tively for 3 years for the first time in the history of fisheries.2 At the same time FAO is concerned that many important fish stocks of relatively high value are seriously overexploited and are in need of better management.3 3 Over the last two decades the size of the world's fishing fleets has ex- panded at a rate that is twice as fast as the rise in catches. The overcapacity of the global fleet has thus reached a level whereby fisheries development has not been economically effective for more than a decade.4 4 The last two decades are also the period when coastal states started to claim, and succeeded in acquiring legally, vast ocean space of up to 200 nm from the shore, beyond the narrow belt
Ocean Yearbook Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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