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Decision-making in Regional Fishery Bodies or Arrangements: the evolving role of RFBs and international agreement on decision-making processes
Swan, J. (2004). Decision-making in Regional Fishery Bodies or Arrangements: the evolving role of RFBs and international agreement on decision-making processes. FAO Fisheries Circular = FAO, Circulaire sur les pêches, 995. FAO: Rome. 82 pp.
Part of: FAO Fisheries Circular = FAO, Circulaire sur les pêches. FAO: Rome. ISSN 0429-9329, more

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Keywords
    Fishery management; International agreements; Regional planning; Marine; Brackish water; Fresh water

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  • Swan, J.

Abstract
    This Circular describes the evolving role of Regional Fishery Bodies or Arrangements (RFBs), from the advisory bodies established during the first half of the twentieth century to the current trend of establishing management bodies. It also describes the recognition in recent international instruments of the authority of RFBs as management bodies, a response to the need for strengthened fisheries governance by RFBs. References to the role of RFBs and decision-making are reviewed in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement, the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Key areas relating to decision-making in RFBs described in the international instruments include the precautionary approach, agreement on decision-making procedures that facilitate the adoption of conservation and management measures in a timely and effective manner, transparency in the decision-making process, decision-making procedures for dispute prevention, and strengthening decision-making to implement relevant policies. Information complied on selected RFBs is summarized to illustrate some activities and procedures that fall within the areas addressed in the international instruments. The information - given in detail for each selected RFB in Appendix 2 and in a summary chart in Appendix 3 - includes a profile of relevant RFB functions and requirements as follows: area of competence, membership, organization, observers, decision-making by principal body, objection procedures and dispute settlement. This Circular is descriptive only and presents information on selected RFBs in summary form. There is no assessment or analysis of the decisions taken, as the objective of this review is to promote a better understanding of the evolution of the role of RFBs and relevant international agreement on the elements involved in decision-making processes.

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