Final_Thesis.pdf (774.96 kB)
Compliance enforcement in regional fisheries management organisations to which Australia is a party
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 03:58 authored by Clark, EA
One of the key problems facing regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) in the twenty-first century is a lack of compliance by flag States. Non-compliance by both contracting and non-contracting parties to RFMOs threatens the effectiveness of a regime which relies almost entirely upon cooperation and the interests of individual States to function. The political will of States to effectively address problems caused by non-compliance including, inter alia, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, has recently been deemed wanting. This thesis is concerned with the need for better implementation of compliance enforcement mechanisms by RFMOs to which Australia is a party (AusRFMOs). It examines the range of compliance enforcement mechanisms available to RFMOs and evaluates how AusRFMOs are currently tackling the problem of non-compliance. It recognises the difficulties faced by RFMOs in implementing their mandate and demonstrates that policy and diplomatic avenues along with a range of countermeasures may be, and have been, evoked by RFMOs to tackle flag State noncompliance. This thesis concludes that AusRFMOs could improve their compliance enforcement across the board. It demonstrates that despite the widespread adoption of mechanisms such as IUU vessel lists, there remains a gap between the theoretical mandate of these organisations and their adoption of measures to enable more effective enforcement. The thesis submits that AusRFMOs must better utilise their enforcement capabilities if they are to fulfil the role envisaged for them under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other associated international agreements. It concludes that AusRFMOs should take steps to move beyond their role as cooperative entities towards an enforcement capacity if they are to make a real contribution to achieving sustainable global fisheries.
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