CONVENTION CONCERNING FISHING IN THE BLACK SEA
Varna, 7 July 1959
The Governments of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the
Romanian People's Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist
Having a common interest in the rational utilization of the
fishery resources of the Black Sea and in the development of
Have decided to conclude this Convention and have for this
purpose appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
who, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due
form, have agreed as follows:
The Contracting Parties agree to co-operate and to assist one
another, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, in
carrying on rational fishing in the Black Sea, in improving
fishing technique, and in carrying out research in the field of
ichthylogy and hydrobiology for the purpose of maintaining and
augmenting the stocks of fish in the Black Sea with a view to
increasing the yield.
The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the status of
the territorial and inland waters of the Contracting Parties.
Fishing vessels of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the
Romanian People's Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics engaged in fishing in the open sea may enter the
following ports of refuge in order to shelter from bad weather or
in case of damage:
In the People's Republic of Bulgaria: Balchik, Varna, Nesebur,
Burgas, Sozopol and Michurin;
In the Romanian People's Republic: Constanta and Sulina;
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Odessa, Evpatoria,
Yalta, Novorossysk, Sochi, Sukhum, Poti and Batum.
The list of ports of refuge may be amended by agreement among the
Parties to the Convention.
In the cases referred to in article 2 of this Convention, the
fishing vessels of the Contracting Parties shall where necessary
be given an opportunity to repair the damage and to replenish
their supplies of foodstuffs, drinking water, fuel, lubricants and
other ship's stores so that the vessel may continue on its route
or return to its nearest home port, and an opportunity to dispose
of their catch fresh at the ports of refuge if it cannot be
preserved on board the vessel.
The procedure governing the disposal of fish and payment for
services rendered to fishing vessels entering ports of refuge and
for fish disposed of in the cases referred to in article 3 of this
Convention shall be agreed between the competent authorities of
the Parties to the Convention.
The following shall be the minimum sizes at which fish may be
Beluga (Huso huso). ....................140 cm
Russian sturgeon (Acipenser
guldenstaedti) . ............... ........80 cm
Sevryuga (Acipenser stellatus) ..........75 cm
Turbot (Rhombus maeoticus) ............. 35 cm
Shad (Alosa kessleri pontica) ...........16 cm
The size of a fish shall be determined by measuring its length
from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail fin.
Any fish taken which is under the prescribed size must be put
back in the sea.
The taking of fish under the prescribed minimum size shall be
permissible in a proportion not exceeding the following percentage
by number of the total catch of each protected species:
8 per cent in the case of shad (Alosa kessleri pontica);
5 per cent in the case of turbot (Rhombus macoticus); and
5 per cent in the case of Acipenseridae (Huso huso, Acipenser
guldenstaedti, Acipenser stellatus).
The taking of Acipenser nudiventris shall be prohibited for five
years from the date of entry into force of this Convention.
For the purpose of preparing forecasts for fishing in the Black
Sea, the Contracting Parties agree to exchange by any suitable
means operational information concerning the migration of
industrial fish, indicating the time and place at which they
congregate, the direction of movement, the density of the schools,
and the hydrometeorological conditions in which such congregations
and migrations are observed.
With a view to the rational utilization of the stocks of fish in
the Black Sea, the Contracting Parties agree to exchange
information annually on the results of scientific research in the
fields of marine ichthyology, hydrobiology and fishing technique.
The Contracting Parties shall exchange statistical data on
catches of fish.
With a view to working out and co-ordinating measures for the
application of this Convention, a Mixed Commission shall be
Within one month after the entry into force of the Convention,
each Contracting Party shall appoint one representative to the
said Commission and shall communicate the name of its
representative to the other Contracting Parties.
The Mixed Commission shall meet at least once a year in the
territory of each of the Contracting Parties in turn.
The Mixed Commission shall function under a statute drafted by it
at its first meeting and approved by the Contracting Parties.
The Mixed Commission shall have the following functions:
1. It shall work out agreed measures to regulate fishing, with a
view to the conservation and augmentation of the stocks of fish in
the Black Sea, and to develop industrial fishing technique;
2. It shall introduce amendments to article 5 of the Convention
concerning the species and dimensions of fish caught in the Black
Sea. Proposals for such amendments must be communicated to the
representatives of the Contracting Parties on the Mixed Commission
not later than three months before the opening of the Commission's
3. It shall co-ordinate the planning of scientific research
projects on matters relating to fishing in the Black Sea, to be
conducted by the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties;
4. It shal determine the nature and extent of the statistical and
other data which each Contracting Party shall furnish to the Mixed
Commission for the purpose of implementing this Convention;
5. It shall exchange information concerning the application of
6. It shall examine such other matters as the Contracting Parties
may refer to it.
The Mixed Commission shall make recommendations to the
Contracting Parties on the matters referred to in article 9 with
the exception of paragraph 2 of that article, on which the
Commission may take decisions.
Recommendations and decisions shall be deemed to be adopted by
the Mixed Commission if they receive the favourable votes of the
representatives of all the Contracting Parties.
The recommendations of the Mixed Commission shall be submitted to
the Contracting Parties for approval and may be given effect if
none of the Parties raises objections within four months.
This Convention shall not impede the conclusion of bilateral
agreements on matters relating to fishing in the Black Sea between
any two Contracting Parties or between a Contracting Party and any
other Black Sea State, so long as such agreements do not conflict
with the terms of this Convention.
This Convention shall be ratified and shall enter into force on
the date of deposit of the last instrument of ratification with
the Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, in whose
archives the original of the Convention shall be kept.
The Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria shall notify
the Governments of all Contracting Parties of the date of deposit
of the last instrument of ratification.
Certified true copies of this Convention shall be transmitted by
the Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria to the other
This Convention is concluded for a term of five years. It shall
remain in force for successive terms of five years for those
Contracting Parties which do not inform the Government of the
People's Republic of Bulgaria, six months before the expiry of the
current five-year term, that they wish to terminate the
Other Black Sea States may accede to this Convention.
The Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria shall take
the necessary action to register this Convention with the
Secretariat of the United Nations.
Done at Varna, on 7 July 1959, in one copy in the Bulgarian,
Romanian and Russian languages, all texts being equally authentic.