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Participation, Allocation and Unregulated Fishing: The Practice of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The interrelated issues of participation, allocation of fishing opportunities and combating unregulated fishing are among the main challenges faced by many regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) today. This article analyses the rules of international law that relate to these issues and examines relevant practice of a number of RFMOs. The potential for the institution of international dispute settlement is assessed as a consequence of this practice. One of the article's conclusions is that the formal conditions for participation indicate that RFMOs are generally open to new entrants. However, the very limited fishing opportunities that are generally available to new entrants give RFMOs overall a considerably more restrictive or exclusive character. Dispute settlement procedures are more likely to be instituted in relation to restrictive formal conditions for participation than in relation to allocation practices that are claimed to be inequitable.


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