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
fishing;

      NOTING that the increasing fishing capacity induced by large
scale driftnet fishing threatens the fish stocks in the South
Pacific;

      MINDFUL OF the relevant rules of international law, including
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:

Article 1

DEFINITIONS

      For the purposes of this Convention and its Protocols:

(a)   the "Convention Area",

      (i)  subject to sub-paragraph (ii) of this paragraph, shall be
           the area lying within 10 degrees North latitude and 50
           degrees South latitude and 130 degrees East longitude and
           120 degrees West longitude, and shall also include all
           waters under the fisheries jurisdiction of any Party to
           this Convention.

      (ii) In the case of a State or Territory which is Party to the
           Convention by virtue of paragraph 1(b) or 1(c) of Article
           10, it shall include only waters under the fisheries
           jurisdiction of that Party, adjacent to the Territory
           referred to in paragraph 1(b) or 1(c) of Article 10;

(b)   "driftnet" means a gillnet or other net or a combination of
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
           driftnet;

      (ii) attempting to catch, take or harvest fish with the use of
           a driftnet;

     (iii) engaging in any other activity which can reasonably be
           expected to result in the catching, taking or harvesting
           of fish with the use of a driftnet, including searching
           for and locating fish to be taken by that method;

      (iv) any operations at sea in support of, or in preparation
           for any activity described in this paragraph, including
           operations of placing, searching for or recovering fish
           aggregating devices or associated electronic equipment
           such as radio beacons;

      (v)  aircraft use, relating to the activities described in
           this paragraph, except for flights in emergencies
           involving the health or safety of crew members or the
           safety of a vessel;

           or

      (vi) transporting, transhipping and processing any driftnet
           catch, and co-operation in the provision of food, fuel
           and other supplies for vessels equipped for or engaged in
           driftnet fishing;

(d)   the "FFA" means the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency; and

(e)   "fishing vessel" means any vessel or boat equipped for or
engaged in searching for, catching, processing or transporting fish
or  other marine organisms.

Article 2

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.

Article 3

MEASURES AGAINST DRIFTNET FISHING ACTIVITIES

(1)   Each Party undertakes:

(a)   not to assist or encourage the use of driftnets within the
Convention Area; and

(b)   to take measures consistent with international law to restrict
driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area, including
but not limited to:

      (i)  prohibiting the use of driftnets within areas under its
           fisheries jurisdiction; and

      (ii) prohibiting the transhipment of driftnet catches within
           areas under its jurisdiction.

(2)   Each Party may also take measures consistent with
international law to:

(a)   prohibit the landing of driftnet catches within its territory;

(b)   prohibit the processing of driftnet catches in facilities
under its jurisdiction;

(c)   prohibit the importation of any fish or fish product, whether
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 taking
measures against driftnet fishing activities which are stricter than
those required by the Convention.

Article 4

ENFORCEMENT

(1)   Each Party shall take appropriate measures to ensure the
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.

Article 5

CONSULTATION WITH NON-PARTIES

(1)   The Parties shall seek to consult with any State which is
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.

Article 6

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

(1)   The FFA shall be responsible for carrying out the following
functions:

(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 of
driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area, including
consultations with appropriate regional and international
organisations; and

(c)   The preparation and transmission to the Parties of an annual
report on any driftnet fishing activities within the Convention Area
and the measures taken to implement this Convention or its
Protocols.

(2)   Each Party shall expeditiously convey to the FFA:

(a)   information on the measures adopted by it pursuant to the
implementation of the Convention; and

(b)   information on, and scientific analyses on the effects of,
driftnet fishing activities relevant to the Convention Area.

(3)   All Parties, including States or Territories not members of
the FFA and the FFA shall co-operate to promote the effective
implementation of this Article.

Article 7

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 meeting
and to participate in a manner to be determined by the Parties to
the Convention.

Article 8

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
Convention Area.

Article 9

PROTOCOLS

      This Convention may be supplemented by Protocols or associated
instruments to further its objectives.

Article 10

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 the
Convention Area for which it is internationally responsible; or

(c)   any Territory situated within the Convention Area which has
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 of the
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 members
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.

Article 11

RESERVATIONS

      This Convention shall not be subject to reservations.

Article 12

AMENDMENTS

(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 to
all Parties for ratification, approval or acceptance.

(4)   An amendment shall enter into force thirty days after receipt
by the Depositary of instruments of ratification, approval or
acceptance from all Parties.

Article 13

ENTRY INTO FORCE

(1)   This Convention shall enter into force on the date of deposit
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.

Article 14

CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION

(1)   The original of this Convention and its Protocols shall be
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
United Nations.
 

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.