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Background

In response to a growing concern of the international community over possible negative impacts of bottom fisheries activities on vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) in the high seas areas, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States started discussion on this issue in August 2006.   

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (UNGA 61/105) in the fall of 2006, which calls for States to: (i) establish a regional fisheries management organization or arrangement competent to regulate bottom fisheries where there is no such organization or arrangement; (ii) adopt and implement interim measures in accordance with precautionary approach, ecosystem approaches and international law by no later than 31 December 2007; (iii) identify VMEs and assess, on the basis of the best available scientific information, whether individual bottom fishing activities would have significant adverse impacts on such VMEs; (iv) ensure if it is assessed that these activities would have significant adverse impacts, they are managed to prevent such impacts, or not authorized to proceed; (v) require their vessels to cease bottom fishing activities in areas, where, in the course of fishing operations, VMEs are encountered, and to report the encounter so that appropriate measures can be adopted in respect of the relevant site ((ii) to (v) above are to be completed by no later than 31 December 2008).

Accordingly, the four countries started discussion on a new regional fisheries management organization or arrangement as well as interim measures in the Northwest Pacific Ocean where the Emperor Seamounts and Northern Hawaiian Ridge area are good fishing grounds for bottom fish. They adopted interim measures for the Northwest Pacific Ocean in 2007 and modified them from time to time.

At the Sixth Multilateral Meeting held from 18 to 20 February 2009 in Busan, Korea, the participants reached agreement to expand the geographic scope of the new instrument to include both the Northwest and Northeast Pacific, and generally agreed to expand species to be covered. As a result, Canada, China, Faroe Islands and Chinese Taipei started to join the negotiation.

At the Tenth Multilateral Meeting held from 27 February to 4 March 2011 in Vancouver, Canada, the participants concluded substantive negotiations of the English text of the long-term agreement, entitled the gConvention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean.h They decided to hold preparatory meetings to draft rules of procedure and other basic documents before the first regular meeting to be held after the Convention enters into force. The first preparatory meeting was held from 29 August to 2 September 2011 in Busan, the Republic of Korea. They also introduced interim measures similar to those for the Northwest Pacific Ocean in 2011 for the Northeast Pacific Ocean where no commercial fishing activities have been taking in recent years.

History of consultations
Map
Fisheries
Interim measures
Scientific Working Group
Assessment
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Vessel List







 

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