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Fish Stocks

Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the letter from the then Minister of State, the hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack) of 7 April, what was the result of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Conference, relating to straddling and highly migratory fish stocks; and if he will make a statement. [37300]

The United Nations conference on straddling and highly migratory fish stocks adopted a legally binding agreement on 4 August. I welcome this development. The agreement will require states to co-operate with each other in managing such stocks according to the best scientific advice available and to submit disputes to legally binding dispute settlement procedures. It includes a tough new scheme for international enforcement of conservation and management measures.The agreement opens for signature on 4 December in New York.The relevant provisions of the UN agreement have been incorporated into the FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries, which is currently being considered by the FAO General Council with a view to its adoption at the FAO conference in Rome from 25 October to 2 November.