Convention for the Prohibition of Fishing with Long Driftnets
in the South Pacific (1989)
Adopted at Wellington on 24 November 1989)
The Parties to this Convention,
RECOGNISING the importance of marine
living resources to the
people of the South Pacific region;
PROFOUNDLY CONCERNED at the damage now
being done by pelagic
driftnet fishing to the albacore tuna resource and to the
environment and economy of the South Pacific region;
CONCERNED ALSO for the navigational threat
posed by driftnet
NOTING that the increasing fishing capacity
induced by large
scale driftnet fishing threatens the fish stocks in the South
MINDFUL OF the relevant rules of international
the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea done at Montego Bay on 10 December 1982, in particular Parts V,
VII and XVI;
RECALLING the Declaration of the South
Pacific Forum at
Tarawa, 11 July 1989 that a Convention should be adopted to ban the
use of driftnets in the South Pacific region;
RECALLING ALSO the Resolution of the
29th South Pacific
Conference at Guam, which called for an immediate ban on the
practice of driftnet fishing in the South Pacific Commission region;
HAVE AGREED as follows:
For the purposes of this Convention and
(a) the "Convention Area",
(i) subject to sub-paragraph (ii)
of this paragraph, shall be
lying within 10 degrees North latitude and 50
South latitude and 130 degrees East longitude and
West longitude, and shall also include all
under the fisheries jurisdiction of any Party to
(ii) In the case of a State or Territory
which is Party to the
by virtue of paragraph 1(b) or 1(c) of Article
shall include only waters under the fisheries
of that Party, adjacent to the Territory
to in paragraph 1(b) or 1(c) of Article 10;
(b) "driftnet" means a gillnet or other net or a combination
nets which is more than 2.5 kilometres in length the purpose of
which is to enmesh, entrap or entangle fish by drifting on the
surface of or in the water;
(c) "driftnet fishing activities" means:
(i) catching, taking or harvesting
fish with the use of a
(ii) attempting to catch, take or harvest
fish with the use of
(iii) engaging in any other activity which
can reasonably be
to result in the catching, taking or harvesting
with the use of a driftnet, including searching
locating fish to be taken by that method;
(iv) any operations at sea in support
of, or in preparation
activity described in this paragraph, including
of placing, searching for or recovering fish
devices or associated electronic equipment
(v) aircraft use, relating to the
activities described in
except for flights in emergencies
the health or safety of crew members or the
of a vessel;
(vi) transporting, transhipping and processing
and co-operation in the provision of food, fuel
supplies for vessels equipped for or engaged in
(d) the "FFA" means the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency;
(e) "fishing vessel" means any vessel or boat equipped for
engaged in searching for, catching, processing or transporting fish
or other marine organisms.
MEASURES REGARDING NATIONALS AND VESSELS
Each Party undertakes to prohibit its
nationals and vessels
documented under its laws from engaging in driftnet fishing
activities within the Convention Area.
MEASURES AGAINST DRIFTNET FISHING ACTIVITIES
(1) Each Party undertakes:
(a) not to assist or encourage the use of driftnets within
Convention Area; and
(b) to take measures consistent with international law to
driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area, including
but not limited to:
(i) prohibiting the use of driftnets
within areas under its
(ii) prohibiting the transhipment of
driftnet catches within
under its jurisdiction.
(2) Each Party may also take measures consistent with
international law to:
(a) prohibit the landing of driftnet catches within its
(b) prohibit the processing of driftnet catches in facilities
under its jurisdiction;
(c) prohibit the importation of any fish or fish product,
processed or not, which was caught using a driftnet;
(d) restrict port access and port servicing facilities for
driftnet fishing vessels; and
(e) prohibit the possession of driftnets on board any fishing
vessel within areas under its fisheries jurisdiction.
(3) Nothing in this Convention shall prevent a Party from
measures against driftnet fishing activities which are stricter than
those required by the Convention.
(1) Each Party shall take appropriate measures to ensure
application of the provisions of this Convention.
(2) The Parties undertake to collaborate to facilitate
surveillance and enforcement of measures taken by Parties pursuant
to this Convention.
(3) The Parties undertake to take measures leading to the
withdrawal of good standing on the Regional Register of Foreign
Fishing Vessels maintained by the FFA against any vessel engaging in
driftnet fishing activities.
CONSULTATION WITH NON-PARTIES
(1) The Parties shall seek to consult with any State which
eligible to become a Party to this Convention on any matter relating
to driftnet fishing activities which appear to affect adversely the
conservation of marine living resources within the Convention Area
or the implementation of the Convention or its Protocols.
(2) The Parties shall seek to reach agreement with any State
referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, concerning the
prohibitions established pursuant to Articles 2 and 3.
(1) The FFA shall be responsible for carrying out the following
(a) The collection, preparation and dissemination of information
on driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area;
(b) The facilitation of scientific analyses on the effects
driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area, including
consultations with appropriate regional and international
(c) The preparation and transmission to the Parties of an
report on any driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area
and the measures taken to implement this Convention or its
(2) Each Party shall expeditiously convey to the FFA:
(a) information on the measures adopted by it pursuant to
implementation of the Convention; and
(b) information on, and scientific analyses on the effects
driftnet fishing activities relevant to the Convention Area.
(3) All Parties, including States or Territories not members
the FFA and the FFA shall co-operate to promote the effective
implementation of this Article.
REVIEW AND CONSULTATION AMONG PARTIES
(1) Without prejudice to the conduct of consultations among
Parties by other means, the FFA, at the request of three Parties,
shall convene meetings of the Parties to review the implementation
of this Convention and its Protocols.
(2) Parties to the Protocols shall be invited to any such
and to participate in a manner to be determined by the Parties to
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES
Parties to this Convention shall co-operate
with each other
and with appropriate distant water fishing nations and other
entities or organisations in the development of conservation and
management measures for South Pacific albacore tuna within the
This Convention may be supplemented by
Protocols or associated
instruments to further its objectives.
SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION AND ACCESSION
(1) This Convention shall be open for signature by:
(a) any member of the FFA; and
(b) any State in respect of any Territory situated within
Convention Area for which it is internationally responsible; or
(c) any Territory situated within the Convention Area which
been authorised to sign the Convention and to assume rights and
obligations under it by the Government of the State which is
internationally responsible for it.
(2) This Convention is subject to ratification by members
FFA an the other States and Territories referred to in paragraph 1
of this Article. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited
with the Government of New Zealand which shall be the Depositary.
(3) This Convention shall remain open for accession by the
of the FFA and the other States and Territories referred to in
paragraph 1 of this Article. The instruments of accession shall be
deposited with the Depositary.
This Convention shall not be subject
(1) Any Party may propose amendments to this Convention.
(2) Amendments shall be adopted by consensus among the Parties.
(3) Any amendments adopted shall be submitted by the Depositary
all Parties for ratification, approval or acceptance.
(4) An amendment shall enter into force thirty days after
by the Depositary of instruments of ratification, approval or
acceptance from all Parties.
ENTRY INTO FORCE
(1) This Convention shall enter into force on the date of
of the fourth instrument of ratification or accession.
(2) For any member of the FFA or a State or Territory which
ratifies or accedes to this Convention after the date of deposit of
the fourth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention
shall enter into force on the date of deposit of its instrument of
ratification or accession.
CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION
(1) The original of this Convention and its Protocols shall
deposited with the Depositary, which shall transmit certified copies
to all States and Territories eligible to become Party to the
Convention and to all States eligible to become Party to a Protocol
to the Convention.
(2) The Depositary shall register this Convention and its
Protocols in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the
DONE at Wellington this twenty-fourth day of November 1989 in the
English and French languages, each text being equally authentic.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised by their
Governments, have signed this Convention.