Regional Allocation Issues or Zen and the Art of Pie Cutting
13 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2007
Date Written: March 1, 2007
Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) have increasingly become the mechanism of choice through which high seas fisheries are to be managed. How these organisations allocate fishing opportunities for the dwindling resources under their jurisdiction is, however, a difficult and often controversial issue. Achieving equitable, scientifically reliable and sustainable allocations as between members and as between members and non-members has serious implications for the operational efficacy and legitimacy of an RFMO and its management regime. This paper examines the allocation practices adopted in RFMOs in the context of the tension between state sovereignty and the development of rules of international law restricting the freedom to fish. It provides suggestions for possible new approaches that may better support both the legal obligation to sustainably manage high seas fisheries and the institutional legitimacy of RFMOs.
Keywords: Regional fisheries management organisations, regional allocation, high seas fisheries
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