Tackling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing: the ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Flag-state Responsibility for IUU fishing and the principle of due diligence

Victor Alencar Mayer Feitosa Ventura

Resumo


One of the major challenges of the International Law of the Sea (LOS) is the overexploitation of fisheries worldwide. According to recent data, approximately 75% of the world’s fisheries are either over or fully exploited, mainly due to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. In order to tackle IUU fishing, a wide historical comprehension of the problem is provided in this paper, together with an investigation on the emergence of a new and integrated approach to the issue of IUU fishing. For that, the Advisory Opinion on flag-state responsibility rendered by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) of April 2015 is herein analyzed. Based on primary international sources, such as the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and on specific case, this paper aims at pinpointing the relevant role of the Tribunal in setting higher protective parameters for fisheries within the LOS. In an effort to overcome traditional approaches, the Tribunal is encrusting the environmental principle of “due diligence” in its decisions and, therefore, contributing to a fructiferous interaction between the LOS and international environmental law. Finally, the article also notes that the international society still needs to undertake reform and implementation efforts, if the plague of illegal fishing is to be overcome.

Palavras-chave


International Law of the Sea. State responsibility. Illegal fishing. ITLOS. Due diligence.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5102/rdi.v12i1.3361

ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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