Convention on Fisheries Cooperation Among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (1991)
The African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Parties to this Convention,
Mindful of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea signed on 10 December 1982, in particular its provisions encouraging the conclusion of regional and subregional agreements on fisheries cooperation as well as other relevant international treaties;
Bearing in mind the Rabat Declaration adopted at the end of the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Co-operation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean, which took place in the Kingdom of Morocco from 30 March to 1 April 1989;
Taking into account the existing regional and subregional fisheries agreements between States of the Region;
Convinced that, in view of the particular nature of the marine environment no rational management of stocks and consequently sustainable fisheries development may be secured without coordination of policies in this field, particularly among States belonging to the same region;
Convinced, therefore, of the need for regional consultation for the purpose of achieving harmonized policies regarding fishery resources exploitation, conservation and processing;
Determined, for that purpose, to promote between them and in collaboration with competent subregional, regional, and international organizations, active cooperation in line with the aspirations of States of the Region, within the context of a fisheries management strategy designed to serve the economic, social and nutritional development of their populations;
HAVING AGREED as follows:
Article 1 Scope and Use of Terms
1. The provisions of this Convention shall apply to the following African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean:
People's Republic of Angola, Republic of Benin, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of Gabon, Republic of The Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Liberia, Kingdom of Morocco, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Namibia, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Sierra Leone, Republic of Togo, Republic of Zaire.
2. For the purpose of this Convention:
Article 2 Objectives
The objectives of this Convention shall be to enable Parties:
Article 3 Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources
Article 4 Assessment and Conservation of Highly Migratory Species
Parties undertake to exchange information on their activities regarding the assessment and conservation of highly migratory species and coordinate their actions in this area within the competent international organizations.
Article 5 Monitoring, Surveillance and Control of Fishing Vessels
Parties shall work and collaborate with all the means at their disposal, or which they may jointly acquire to ensure the monitoring, surveillance and control, including technical control, of fishing vessels operating in the Region.
Article 6 Development of Fishery Production and Means of Production
Article 7 Marketing of Fishery Products
Article 8 Fisheries Planning and Financing
With a view to promoting the fisheries sector and its connected industries at the macro-economic level, Parties shall endeavour:
Article 9 Social Conditions of Fishermen
Taking into account the vital role of the Region's fishermen in the development of artisanal and industrial fisheries, Parties agree to promote the improvement of their welfare, in particular with respect to professional standing and working conditions.
Article 10 Enhancement of Vocational and Technical Training
In order to meet more effectively the specific needs of the fisheries sector in terms of persons qualified at sea and on shore, Parties shall:
Article 11 Development of Marine Scientific Research
Article 12 Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment
Parties shall intensify their efforts at the national, regional and international levels, directly or with the assistance of competent regional or international organizations, to ensure the protection and preservation of the marine environment as well as the management of coastal areas of the Region.
To this end, they shall promote the strengthening of bilateral, subregional and international cooperation mechanisms dealing with the protection and preservation of the marine environment and coastal areas as well as the intensification of their activities, while taking into account the relevant international standards and regulations on the subject
Article 13 Harmonization of Policies
Parties shall endeavour to harmonize their fisheries polices. To this end:
Article 14 Fisheries Cooperation Agreements
Parties shall encourage the conclusion of fisheries agreements between them on a preferential basis. Furthermore, they shall exchange their experience in the negotiation and conclusion of fisheries cooperation agreements with third parties.
Article 15 Maritime Data and Information Bank
With a view to promoting the dissemination of scientific, economic, technical and legal data and information regarding the Region's fisheries, Parties shall collaborate in the establishment and operation of a data and information bank, in cooperation with relevant subregional, regional and international organizations.
Article 16 Solidarity with Land-locked African States and with Geographically Disadvantaged States of the Region
Parties affirm their solidarity with land-locked African States and with geographically disadvantaged States of the Region and shall establish active cooperation with them.
Article 17 Institutional Framework
Article 18 Budget
A regional fisheries development fund (RFDF) shall be established. Such fund shall be managed by the secretariat and the modalities concerning its establishment and operation shall be determined by the Conference of Ministers. The fund shall be used:
Article 19 Protocols
Parties shall prepare and adopt additional protocols establishing measures, procedures and standards for the purpose of clarifying and improving the methods by which the proof this Convention shall be implemented.
Article 20 Cooperation with other Organizations
With a view to achieving the objectives of this Convention, Parties shall cooperate through all appropriate means with relevant subregional, regional and international organizations, as well as with any other concerned institution.
Article 21 Settlement of Disputes
Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention by peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
Article 22 Signature
This Convention shall remain open for signature by States of the Region with the Government of Senegal and also with the Depositary until 31 December 1992.
Article 23 Ratification, Acceptance. Approval and Accession
This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States which have signed it and shall remain open for accession by other States of the Region in accordance with their respective procedures.
Article 24 Entry into Force
This Convention shall enter into force thirty (30) days following the deposit with the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations of the seventh instrument of ratification, approval or accession.
For each of the States which ratifies the Convention or accedes after the deposit of the seventh instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit by that State of its instrument of its ratification or accession.
Article 25 Amendments
Any Party may propose amendments to this Convention and its protocols. Amendments shall be circulated to all Parties six (6) months prior to their consideration.
Amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Parties and shall enter into force ninety (90) days after their adoption.
Article 26 Denunciation
Five (5) years after the coming into force of the Convention any Party may denounce it, provided that it notifies to the Depositary its intention to do so.
A denunciation shall take effect one year after receipt of this notification.
Article 27 Depositary
The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations who shall transmit certified true copies of this Convention to the Governments of States which have signed it.
Article 28 Languages
This Convention is established in a single original in the English and French languages, each text being equally authentic.
A certified true copy of this Convention shall be transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of tile Charter of the United Nations.
IN WITNESS WHERE0F the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments for that purpose, have signed this Convention.
DONE in Dakar this 5th day of July 1991.