Paragraph 36 of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 adopted by United Nations General Assembly resolution S-19/2 of 28 June 1997 during the nineteenth special session of the Assembly, New York, 1997
Done at New York 28 June 1997
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the United Nations
Oceans and seas
36. Progress has been achieved since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in the negotiation of agreements and voluntary instruments for improving the conservation and management of fishery resources and for the protection of the marine environment. Furthermore, progress has been made in the conservation and management of specific fishery stocks for the purpose of securing the sustainable utilization of these resources. Despite this, the decline of many fish stocks, high levels of discards and rising marine pollution continue. Governments should take full advantage of the challenge and opportunity presented by the International Year of the Ocean in 1998. There is a need to continue to improve decision-making at the national, regional and global levels. To address the need for improving global decision-making on the marine environment, there is an urgent need for Governments to implement decision 4/15 of the Commission on Sustainable Development, in which the Commission, inter alia, called for a periodic intergovernmental review by the Commission of all aspects of the marine environment and its related issues, as described in chapter 17 of Agenda 21, and for which the overall legal framework was provided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. There is a need for concerted action by all countries and for improved cooperation to assist developing countries in implementing the relevant agreements and instruments in order that they may participate effectively in the sustainable use, conservation and management of their fishery resources, as provided for in the Convention and other international legal instruments, and achieve integrated coastal zone management. In that context, there is an urgent need for:
(a) All Governments to ratify or to accede to the relevant agreements as soon as possible and to implement effectively such agreements as well as relevant voluntary instruments;
(b) All Governments to implement General Assembly resolution 51/189 of 16 December 1996, including the strengthening of institutional links to be established between the relevant intergovernmental mechanisms involved in the development and implementation of integrated coastal zone management. Following progress on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and bearing in mind Principle 13 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, there is a need to strengthen the implementation of existing international and regional agreements on marine pollution, with a view in particular to ensuring better contingency planning, response, and liability and compensation mechanisms;
(c) Better identification of priorities for action at the global level to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment, as well as better means for integrating such action;

(d) Further international cooperation to support the strengthening, where needed, of regional and subregional agreements for the protection and sustainable use of the oceans and seas;
(e) Governments to prevent or eliminate overfishing and excess fishing capacity through the adoption of management measures and mechanisms to ensure the sustainable management and utilization of fishery resources and to undertake programmes of work to achieve the reduction and elimination of wasteful fishing practices, wherever they may occur, especially in relation to large-scale industrialized fishing. The emphasis given by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its fourth session to the importance of effective conservation and management of fish stocks, and in particular to eliminating overfishing, in order to identify specific steps at national or regional levels to prevent or eliminate excess fishing capacity, will need to be carried forward in all appropriate international forums including, in particular, the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;
(f) Governments to consider the positive and negative impact of subsidies on the conservation and management of fisheries through national, regional and appropriate international organizations and, based on these analyses, to consider appropriate action,
(g) Governments to take actions, individually and through their participation in competent global and regional forums, to improve the quality and quantity of scientific data as a basis for effective decisions related to the protection of the marine environment and the conservation and management of marine living resources; in this regard, greater international cooperation is required to assist developing countries, in particular small island developing States, to operationalize data networks and clearing houses for information-sharing on oceans. In this context, particular emphasis must be placed on the collection of biological and other fisheries-related information and the resources for its collation, analysis and dissemination.

Multilateral / Environment and Natural Resource Protection