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As fish stocks continue to decline worldwide, coastal states seem to have largely failed in managing fisheries in their EEZs effectively. This study examines the international legal principles for effective EEZ fisheries management, and undertakes to assess their domestic implementation in a comparative perspective.
The 1982 UNCLOS as well as general international law provide a useful range of norms for sustainable EEZ fisheries management, if carefully interpreted. These include the coastal state’s obligation to ensure that the maintenance of the living resources in its EEZ is not endangered by over-exploitation; the duty to maintain or restore populations of target species at sustainable levels; the determination of catch limits for stocks affected by exploitation; and the duty to apply the precautionary approach. In addition to such environmental requirements, issues of distributive justice and procedural fairness are also included in the analysis.
The second part of the study evaluates the implementation of the international legal standards in five selected coastal states (Kenya, Namibia, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico) and the EC. It focuses on the determination of total allowable catch, the allocation of individual fishing authorisations, and the regulation of foreign access to EEZ fisheries as exemplary management measures.