Fisheries: The 1995 United Nations Straddling Stocks
David Freestone and Zen Makuch1
On 13 February 1995, Canadian fisheries protection officers boarded and arrested a Spanish registered fishing vessel, the Estai, outside the Canadian 200-mile exclusive fishing zone2 on the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland, alleging that the vessel was fishing in breach of North-west Atlantic Fisheries Organisation conservation and management measures.
The Spanish complaint about Canada's action is still sub judice, making its way through the International Court of Justice. But the resulting dispute between Canada and the European Union (EU), which is responsible for the regulation of the fishing activities of EU members states (which include Spain), was formally settled on 20 April 1995 in an exchange of notes between the Government of Canada and the European Union.3 On 4 August 1995, after six working sessions, the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks finally concluded an Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.4 And on____________________