CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF THE LIVING RESOURCES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE
 


(Note the title has been changed at the request of the last meeting. The above is put forward for consideration.)

The States Parties to this Agreement

RECALLING the decision of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community at their Eighth Meeting in Saint Lucia concerning the development of a programme of cooperation among Member States in respect of access to, and the management of, their exclusive economic zones and their fisheries zones;

DESIROUS of establishing on a cooperative basis a regional regime for the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of the living resources of their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones;

RECOGNIZING the need for the sustainable development and optimal utilization of these resources and the protection and preservation of the marine environment;

CONSCIOUS of the rights and obligations of coastal States in the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of the living resources of their exclusive economic zones;

BEARING in mind the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, and in particular Article 123 thereof concerning the cooperation of States bordering enclosed and semi-enclosed seas in the exercise of their rights and the performance of their international obligations;

AWARE of the role of the competent regional and sub-regional institutions in promoting the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 [and of the World Conference on Fisheries, 1984];

(Note: the Preamble has been adjusted to reflect the agreements reached at the last meeting. The reference to the World Conference on Fisheries has been added for consideration by the Meeting)

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1-Definitions

In this Agreement:

"the CARICOM Fisheries Authority" means the body established by Article 9 for the purpose of this Agreement;

(Note: the meeting requested that a new title be proposed in order to avoid confusion with the "Authority", the principal organ of the OECS, and the above is put forward for consideration.)

"the Caribbean Community" means the Caribbean Community and Common Market established by the Treaty done at Chaguaramas on 4 July, 1973;

"the Conference" means the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community;

"Convention" means the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982;

"Secretary General" means the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community;

"Standing Committee" means the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Agriculture of the Caribbean Community;

"States Parties" means the States Parties to his Agreement;

Article 2-Objectives

The objectives of this Agreement are to achieve:

(a) the development of the capacity to exploit the resources of the exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones of States Parties on a viable and sustainable basis;

(b) coordination of relevant initiatives of State Parties concerning the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones bearing in mind the provisions of the Convention;

(c) the development of required human resources of States Parties for the efficient management of their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones on a cooperative basis;

(d) coordination of initiatives for the protection and preservation of the marine environment of States Parties in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention and other agreements;

(e) promotion and coordination of national and regional initiatives of States Parties for the conduct of marine scientific research;

(f) promotion of fish processing and manufacturing and marketing of fish products in the territories of States Parties, as well as in the markets of third countries.

Article 3-The CARICOM Fisheries Authority

1. Subject to such relevant policy guidelines as may be established by the Standing Committee, the CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall coordinate the policies of States Parties relating to the development and management of the living resources of their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones and the protection and preservation of the marine environment.

2. In particular, the CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall:
 
(a) promote and encourage the harmonization of national fisheries legislation and regulations of States Parties, especially in relation to conservation measures;

(b) recommend for the approval of the Standing Committee criteria for the grant of preferential access by States Parties to fisheries in their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones to vessels of other States Parties;

(c) recommend for the approval of the Standing Committee harmonized minimum conditions of access by foreign fishing vessels to the fisheries resources of the exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones of States Parties;

(d) facilitate the payment of adequate compensation for access to the exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones of States Parties through the provision of fees, financing, equipment and transfers of technology, for use in the development of the fishing industry in the territories of States Parties, and any other activities connected therewith;

(e) formulate, in consultation with States Parties, appropriate regional institutions and interested donor agencies, human resources development programmes designed to achieve the objectives of this Agreement;

(f) promote the processing of fish and the manufacturing and marketing of fish and fish products in the territories of States Parties, as well as in the markets of third countries;

(g) formulate proposals for the development of the fishing industry in the territories of States Parties, including the establishment of joint ventures;

(h) promote and coordinate the conduct of marine scientific research by States Parties;

(i) promote and coordinate the activities of States Parties in relation to the monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities in their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones and techniques for detecting, arresting, and prosecuting unauthorized fishing vessels in the enforcement of the fisheries laws of States Parties;

(j) promote and coordinate the selection, analysis, evaluation and distribution of relevant statistical, biological and socio-economic information about the living marine resources, particularly shared resources.

Article 4-Preferential Access

1. States Parties shall consider appropriate measures to ensure that preferential access to the fishery resources of their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones may be accorded to other interested States Parties in accordance with this Agreement, and having regard, in particular, to Articles 62 and 70 of the Convention.

2. The Standing Committee may formulate criteria for the granting of preferential access in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article.

3. In formulating criteria for the granting of preferential access provided for in this Agreement, the Standing Committee shall have regard to the following factors:
 
(a) that where a surplus has been declared for the purpose of foreign fishing access, the State Party declaring the surplus should grant access thereto to an interested State Party in preference to a third State;

(b) that States Parties according the right of preferential access should not discriminate amongst States Parties seeking such access, having due regard to the provisions of Articles 62 and 70 of the Convention;

(c) that States Parties accorded preferential access in accordance with this Agreement shall ensure that vessels flying their flag observe the terms and conditions on which such access was granted;

(d) that vessels granted the right of preferential access are duly licensed and observe such harmonized conditions of preferential access as may be determined from time to time relating to fees, vessel markings, provision of data, reporting requirements, the stowage of fishing gear, and the landing of catch;

(e) that nationality criteria are agreed on for determining the entitlement of vessels to preferential access.

Article 5-Foreign Fishing Access

1. The Standing Committee shall formulate harmonized minimum conditions of access for fishing vessels of third states to the fisheries resources of the exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones of States Parties, and shall take appropriate measures to secure compliance with such conditions.

2. States Parties undertake to observe and enforce such conditions of access to their marine fisheries resources as may be established by the Standing Committee.

3. The harmonized minimum conditions referred to in this Article may include references to fees, vessel markings based on the International Radio Call Sign, reporting requirements on zone entry and departure, periodic radioed positions and catch reports, maintenance of standard regional catch and effort log sheets, provision and placement of observers, standard stowage of gear requirements for unlicensed fishing vessels transiting the exclusive economic zone or fisheries zone, and standard provisions for flag state responsibility for compliance control.

4. The CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall, at the request of the Standing Committee, identify the fisheries in which States Parties have a common interest, recommend to the Standing Committee harmonized minimum access fee levels and the method of calculating access fee payments, and recommend to the Standing Committee criteria for joint licensing arrangements with interested third states.

Article 6-The Regional Fisheries Register

1. The CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall establish a Regional Fisheries Register of fishing vessels in good standing in the Caribbean Community and the conditions for entry therein and removal therefrom shall be determined from time to time by the Standing Committee. [For the purposes of this Agreement, a vessel registered on the OECS fishing vessel register shall be deemed to be registered on the Regional Fisheries Register.]

2. Vessels desiring to fish in the exclusive economic zones or fisheries zones of States Parties must be entered in the Regional Fisheries Register.

3. The CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall consider and determine applications for entry in the Regional Fisheries Register in accordance with the conditions established by the Standing Committee.

4. States Parties undertake to refrain from granting fishing licences to vessels not registered as being in good standing in the Regional Fisheries Register or the OECS fishing vessel register.

5. The Regional Fisheries Register shall be maintained by the CARICOM Fisheries Authority which shall receive applications for registration therein. Applications for registration in the Regional Fisheries Register may also be made to a State Party which shall forward to the CARICOM Fisheries Authority.

6. A State Party aggrieved by the conduct or operations of a licensed vessel may apply to the CARICOM Fisheries Authority to have such vessel removed from the Regional Fisheries Register.

Article 7-Human Resource Development

1. The CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall promote, organize and coordinate such human resources development programmes as may be required for the effective implementation of this Agreement.

2. The CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall in particular:
 
(a) in consultation with States Parties, interested donor agencies and relevant national, regional, and international institutions, develop a comprehensive regional human resources development programme based on the agreed priority needs of States Parties;

(b) collaborate with relevant national and regional training and research institutions in order to ensure that relevant courses of instruction are designed to accommodate, on a timely basis, the requirements of relevant human resources training;

(c) employ its best endeavours to ensure that beneficiaries of the human resources development programme are employed in a manner designed to achieve the objectives of this Agreement.

Article 8-Marine Scientific Research and Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment

1. The CARICOM Fisheries Authority shall, in collaboration with other relevant national,
regional and international institutions:

(a) organize programmes of research on the marine fisheries resources of the exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones of States Parties, particularly with regard to abundance, recruitment levels, temporal variations in available resources and the bathymetric distribution of biological communities;

(b) develop criteria for determining total allowable catches of targeted marine species in the exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones and submit recommendations thereon to interested States Parties;

(c) organize and conduct research on the protection and preservation of the marine environment and the abatement and elimination of pollution;

(d) make recommendations to the Standing Committee on the establishment of minimum conditions of access to the marine waters under the jurisdiction of State Parties for the purpose of conducting marine scientific research therein and for a system to ensure dissemination of the results of such research to the relevant institutions in the region, as may be appropriate;

(e) consider and make recommendations to States Parties on proposals for the conduct of marine scientific research in their marine jurisdictions;

(f) carry out other functions related to this Article as may be entrusted to it by the Standing Committee.

Article 9-The CARICOM Fisheries Authority

The Secretariat of the Caribbean Community, or such other body as may be designated for the purpose by the Standing Committee, shall perform the functions of the CARICOM Fisheries Authority under this Agreement.

Article 10-Budget and Financing

1. There shall be an administrative budget for the operations of the CARICOM Fisheries Authority to which States Parties shall contribute on the basis of a scale of assessment determined by the Common Market Council on the recommendation of the Standing Committee. In determining the scale of assessment, due regard shall be paid to the revenues accruing to States Parties from the exploitation of their marine fisheries resources.

2. There shall be established for the CARICOM Fisheries Authority an operations budget to which contributions shall be made by States Parties. States that are not parties to the Agreement and other institutions or bodies may also make contributions to the operations budget.

3. The records, books, and accounts kept in respect of the performance of the functions of the CARICOM Fisheries Authority pursuant to this Agreement shall be audited annually by auditors approved by the Common Market Council.

Article 11-Settlement of Disputes

The provisions of Articles 11 and 12 of the Common Market Annex to the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community shall apply mutatis mutandis to any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of any of the provisions of this Agreement, and, for that purpose, references to the Council in those Articles shall be construed as references to the Standing Committee.

Article 12-Signature and Ratification

This Agreement shall be open for signature by the Member States of the Caribbean Community listed in the Annex to this Agreement, and shall be subject to ratification in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures.

Article 13-Entry into Force

1. This Agreement shall enter into force when Instruments of Ratification have been deposited with the Secretary General by at least nine of the Member States of the Caribbean Community listed in the Annex to this Agreement.

2. The Secretary General shall transmit to the Signatory States copies of the Instrument of Ratification deposited.

Article 14-Accession

1. Any new Member State or any Associate Member of the Caribbean Community may apply to become a Party to this Agreement. Every such application shall be submitted to the Standing Committee which may approve the application subject to such terms and conditions as the Standing Committee may think fit to impose.

2. A state whose application under paragraph 1 of this Article is approved by the Standing Committee shall deposit an Instrument of Accession before becoming a Party to this Agreement.

Article 15-Amendments

1. Any State Party may propose an amendment to this Agreement.

2. Any proposal for an amendment of this Agreement shall be submitted to the States Parties who may adopt it with such modifications as they consider necessary.

3. Amendments to this Agreement shall enter into force when ratified by all States Parties.

Article 16-Denunciation and Withdrawal

1. Any State Party may denounce this Agreement and withdraw from it.

2. Notification of withdrawal shall be transmitted to the Secretary General who shall inform the other States Parties accordingly.

3. Notification of withdrawal from this Agreement shall take effect twelve months after it has been received by the Secretary General but it may be withdrawn by the State Party transmitting it at any time before it takes effect.

4. A State Party withdrawing from this Agreement shall honour any financial obligations assumed by it during the period when it was a State Party.

Article 17-Depositary

1. The Secretary General shall perform all depositary functions in relation to this Agreement.

2. The Secretary General shall notify States Parties of the deposit of Instruments of Ratification of Accession and shall transmit copies thereof to them.

Article 18-Registration

The Secretary General shall register this Agreement and any amendment thereof with the Secretariat of the United Nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have affixed their signatures to this Agreement.

Signed by
For Antigua and Barbuda this day of 1991

For the Bahamas this day of 1991

For Barbados this day of 1991

For Belize this day of 1991

For Dominica this day of 1991

For Grenada this day of 1991

For Guyana this day of 1991

For Jamaica this day of 1991

For Montserrat this day of 1991

For Saint Christopher and Nevis this day of 1991

For Saint Lucia this day of 1991

For Saint Vincent and the Grenadines this day of 1991

For Trinidad and Tobago this day of 1991

Annex
Antigua and Barbuda
The Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Dominica
Grenada
Guyana
Jamaica
Montserrat
Saint Christopher and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
 
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