European Union signs high-seas fishery resource convention
The European Union is now a signatory to an important regional fisheries management convention which, once it enters into force, will ensure that fishing from western Australia to South America is subject to agreed international rules.
The Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources of the South Pacific Ocean was signed in Wellington on July 26, when senior New Zealand officials met with their counterparts from the EU’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
By establishing that the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) manage non-highly migratory fish species in the region, including deep sea fish stocks such as orange roughy, the Convention effectively bridges one of the few remaining governance gaps for high-seas fisheries.
New Zealand and the EU have many shared interests in the fisheries area, the EU being a very important, high-value market for New Zealand seafood. Moreover, both the EU and New Zealand are keen to ensure that fish stocks are sustainably managed, especially through effective regional fisheries management organisations. The Wellington meeting also discussed trade issues and the problem of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
The EU is the seventh party to sign the SPRFMO Convention (after Chile, Columbia, Cook Islands, Kingdom of Denmark in respect of Faroe Island, New Zealand and Peru) and the Commission has initiated the procedures for its ratification.
New Zealand signed the SPRFMO Convention on 1 February 2010.
The dialogue between New Zealand and the European Union on fisheries is only one of several NZ-EU dialogues held on a regular basis and covering a wide range of political and economic themes. These dialogues reflect the importance of the EU as a bilateral partner for New Zealand, and the value of two-way exchanges on issues of mutual interest.
- South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation website
- Commission welcomes the creation of a new fisheries management organisation for the South Pacific high seas (Press release of 16/11/2009)