Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
By the end of the 1980s, it became clear that fishing resources were no longer able to withstand intense and often uncontrolled development and exploitation, and that new approaches of fishery management are urgently needed that taking into account environmental factors and conservation of resources. The resulted situation was aggravated by understanding the problems posed by unregulated fishing in the high seas, in some cases affecting straddling and highly migratory fish species living in both the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and beyond. At its 19th session in March 1991, the Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Fisheries (COFI) called for the development of new concepts leading to responsible, sustainable fisheries. Subsequently, the International Conference on Responsible Fisheries, held in Cancún, Mexico, in 1992, further requested FAO to prepare an international Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries to address these problems. The results of the Conference, especially the Cancún Declaration, were an important contribution to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) — in particular for the adaptation of Agenda 21. Following that, then the United Nations Conference on Straddling Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks was held, the technical support of which was largely done by FAO.
In November 1993, at the 27th Session of the FAO Conference, an agreement has been adopted to promote compliance by the fishing vessels on the high seas with international measures for the conservation and management of living water resources. Noting these and other important innovations in world fisheries, FAO’s governing bodies recommended the establishment of a global Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries that would be consistent with these documents and would