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Flag State Measures

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Chapter Summary

The freedom of the high seas was codified in the 1958 Convention on the High Seas and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC). Related to these freedoms is the right of every State to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas, signifying the primacy of the authority of the flag State of the vessels. This right is balanced with the obligation to fix the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory, and for the right to fly its flag. A flag State can exercise effective control over fishing vessels not only through vessel registration but also through the issuance of licences or authorisations to fish. Article 217(1) provides the right and obligation of flag States to provide effective enforcement of relevant rules, standards, laws and regulations, irrespective of where a violation occurs.

Keywords: authorisations to fish; fishing vessel registration; flag state enforcement; flag state jurisdiction; high seas



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