EU signs high seas fishery resource convention

Industry Database

The European Union is the latest signatory to a key regional fisheries management convention which, once it enters into force, will ensure fishing from western Australia to South America is subject to agreed international rules.

The signing of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources of the South Pacific Ocean took place during a regular meeting of senior New Zealand officials and their counterparts from the EU’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Wellington.

The Convention will establish the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) to manage non-highly migratory fish species in the region, including deepsea fish stocks such as orange roughy.

The EU is the seventh party to sign the SPRFMO Convention, which will close one of the last remaining governance gaps for high-seas fisheries. New Zealand signed the SPRFMO Convention on 1 February 2010.

New Zealand and the EU have many shared interests in the fisheries area, and the EU is a very important high value market for New Zealand seafood. Both the EU and New Zealand are keen to ensure that fish stocks are sustainably managed, especially through effective regional fisheries management organisations.

Also discussed at the Wellington meeting were trade issues and the problem of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

The dialogue between New Zealand and the European Union on fisheries is one of several NZ-EU dialogues held on a regular basis, covering a 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.

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