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The Concept of "Real Interest" and Other Aspects of Co-operation through Regional Fisheries Management Mechanisms

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The concept of "real interest" is incorporated in Article 8(3) of the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement as a condition that states (parties) must fulfil before they can participate in a regional fisheries management mechanism (RFMM). As the 1995 Agreement does not define the concept, this article examines its possible meaning. A general discussion on the need for, and duties of, co-operation in the conservation and management of transboundary stocks provides the context in which the concept of "real interest" is placed. Arguments justifying the use of the concept of "real interest" as a bar to participation in RFMMs are examined in addition to the concept's potential use in dealing with flag states with bad performance records. Ample attention is given to the practice of states co-operating in existing RFMMs and in negotiation processes aimed at establishing RFMMs, as this will play a decisive role in giving effective meaning to the concept.

Affiliations: 1: Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS), Utrecht University, The Netherlands


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