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Regulation of Fishing Methods and Gear

Type of court
International court
Nov 5, 2001
Court name
International Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation
Seat of court
San Sebastian
Reference number
EAS-O.C. - 10/00
Marine fisheries Fishing gear/fishing method
This consultative opinion dealt with alleged incompatibility of certain European Community fishing policy with international and Community environmental law concerning the conservation of marine living resources. The petitioners asked specifically for an opinion on the need for a fishing reserve in the area of the Bay of Biscay, to restrict fishing to those vessels using traditional methods, barring driftnets, trawling and other non-selective means of fishing. Driftnet and open trawling methods had a significant negative impact on several species of fish, and fish catch had been decreasing drastically among the traditional fishing fleets. The court analyzed international treaties, general rules and principles of international environmental law, and relevant Community law and came to the conclusion that the Community fishing policy with its ban on driftnet fishing and new control measures would provide the framework for conformity to and compliance with international law. The Community and each member state had to ensure effective implementation of the Community measures and application of general international law prohibiting non-selective methods of taking living resources. While the establishment and enforcement of a fishing reserve in the Bay of Biscay, restricted to traditional fishing methods, was one means available to eliminate non-selective fishing in the region, it was not the only measure that could be taken to reduce unsustainable fishing practices. The choice among various methods to give effect to the obligation of in situ conservation was not dictated by international law and remained for determination by the Community and the member states in accordance with their respective powers, provided the measures complied with and were effective to satisfy international obligations.
Full text



Convention on Biological Diversity

Treaty | Multilateral | Rio de Janeiro |

Keyword: Sustainable use, Subsidy/incentive, Policy/planning, Ecosystem preservation, Access and benefit sharing, Traditional rights/customary rights, Protected area, Management/conservation, Financing, Institution, Liability/compensation, Protection of habitats, Alien species, Biodiversity, EIA, Research, Monitoring, Genetic resources, Dispute settlement, Ex-situ conservation, Data collection/reporting, Technology transfer, Biotechnology, Education, Crops/grasses

Source: IUCN (ID: TRE-001148)

Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

Treaty | Multilateral | Bern |

Keyword: Management/conservation, Migratory species, Hunting gear/hunting methods, Stock enhancement/repopulation, Ecosystem preservation, Wildlife products, Wild flora, Endangered species, Institution, Land-use planning, Hunting/capture, Biodiversity, Protection of species, Monitoring, Protection of habitats, International agreement-text, Wild fauna

Source: IUCN (ID: TRE-000473)

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Treaty | Multilateral | Montego Bay |

Keyword: Alien species, Inspection, Legal proceedings/administrative proceedings, Management/conservation, Deep sea bed, Islands, Bycatch, Offences/penalties, Enforcement/compliance, Risk assessment/management, Fishing licence fee, Authorization/permit, Fishery management and conservation, Total allowable catch, Marine fisheries, Liability/compensation, Pollution control, Future generations, Marine pollution, Dispute settlement, Monitoring, Stock enhancement/repopulation, Maritime zone, Policy/planning, Marine pollution (dumping at sea), Size, Contract/agreement, Access right, Education, Data collection/reporting, Research, EIA, International organization, Long-range air pollution, Marine mammals, Mining, Business/industry/corporations, High seas, Sovereignty, Marine pollution (land-based sources), Migratory species, Vessel ownership, Court/tribunal, Marine resources management, Jurisdictional competence, Fishing licence, Harbour, Early warning system/emergency intervention system, Fishing gear/fishing method, Navigation, Registration, Continental shelf, Marine pollution (ship-based sources), Exploration, Seasons, International relations/cooperation, Technology transfer, EEZ-Exclusive Economic Zone, Sustainable use

Source: IUCN (ID: TRE-000753)

Convention on Nature Protection and Wild Life Preservation in the Western Hemisphere

Treaty | Multilateral | Washington D.C. |

Keyword: Wild fauna, National parks, Protection of species, Protected area, Wild flora, Protection of habitats, Research, Hunting/capture, Management/conservation, Endangered species

Source: IUCN (ID: TRE-000085)

African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Treaty | Multilateral | Algiers |

Keyword: Potable water, Biodiversity, Protected area, Wildlife products, Zoning, Water supply, Management/conservation, Endangered species, Erosion, Hunting gear/hunting methods, International agreement-text, Soil conservation/soil improvement, Wetlands, Research, Wild fauna, Education, Wild flora, Ecosystem preservation

Source: IUCN (ID: TRE-000492)