Bernaerts' Guide _UNCLOS 1982
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Book page 38-39  

Section: Part V, Articles 55-75

Coastal States Fisheries - UNCLOS 1982Aside from possible exploration of oil fields, the most valuable resource for coastal states in their exclusive economic zone is the sovereign right of fishing[1]. The fishing rights within the exclusive economic zone are almost exclusive and are nearly equivalent to total sovereignty. The general obligation to conserve and the right to utilize[2] the living resources as well as the obligation to invite countries which traditionally fish there[3] or are land-locked or geographically disadvantaged states[4] to participate in fishing only if there is a surplus of catch and agreements or arrangements have been reached[5] are not conditions under which fishing rights of other states can easily be exercised. In addition, the coastal state need not accept compulsory dispute settlement procedure in many substantive fishing matters and is subject to compulsory conciliation[6] in only three instances. Nonetheless, the coastal state has to exercise its rights in the light of the general provision of "good faith and non-abuse of rights”[7].

Conservation includes the determination by the coastal state of the allowable catch[8], which is to be based on the best scientific evidence available; where appropriate, the coastal state is to co-operate with the competent international organization to avoid over-exploitation[9]. Measures must be designed to restore and maintain the population[10] and must take into account the effects of harvesting on associated or dependent species in order to prevent the endangering of such species[11]. Where the same stocks or associated stocks occur in the exclusive economic zones of two or more states or in the high seas as well as the zones, the states concerned are to seek to co-operate to ensure that the species is conserved and developed[12]  

1 Art. 56,    Subpara. 1 (a) 
2 Art. 61, Para . 2-3; Art. 62; Para . 1
3 Art. 62, Para . 3 
4 Art. 62, Para . 3;  Art. 69, 70  
5 Art. 62, Para . 2-3 
6 Art. 297, Para . 3 
7 Art. 300  
8 Art. 61, Para . 1 
9 Art. 61, Para.2

10 Art. 61, Para . 3 
11 Art. 61, Para.4
Art. 63; 64; 116(b) 
Art. 64-67 
Art.66, Para.1 
Art. 67, Para . 1 
Art. 66, Para.3; Art. 67, Para . 2 
Art. 62, Para . 1 
Art. 62, Para . 3

19 Art. 62, Para . 2   
20 Art. 69, Para. 3; Art. 70, Para . 4  
21 Ibid  
22 Art. 71 
23 Art. 62, Para . 2;  Art. 72 
24 Art.62,  Para .4-5 
25 Art. 62,  Subpara. 4 (
Art. 73, Para . 2 
27 Art.73, Para . 3

 For particular species, the coastal state must especially emphasize co-operation when exercising its rights[13]. Primary responsibility for anadromous stocks and for catadromous species rests with the states where the stocks originate[14] or spend the greater part of their life cycle[15]. In general, harvesting of these species is to take place only within the exclusive economic zone boundaries of the state of origin[16].

The coastal state is to aim for optimum utilization of the resources in its zone[17] and, in particular, to allow land-locked, geographically disadvantaged, and developing states[18] to participate in-the surplus its national capacity cannot harvest[19]. The coastal state is to give land-locked states and geographically disadvantaged states preference[20]. Even if the capacity of the coastal state approaches a point which would enable it to harvest the entire allowable catch, arrangements must be established permitting developing land-locked states and geographically disadvantaged states to participate in the harvest[21]. These provisions do not apply only in the event that the coastal state depends overwhelmingly on the catch for its own economy[22]. Participation by other states in the harvest of living resources, if not regulated by agreement[23], is to be regulated by laws and regulations of the coastal state[24], including enforcement procedure[25].

Vessels arrested for violation of coastal state fishing laws and regulations for the fulfilment of this state's obligations must be released upon payment of reasonable security[26]. Imprisonment or corporal punishment of crew is not permitted[27].

Fisheries in EEZ - UNCLOS 1982

Next page page 40 -41

[8] Art. 61, Para . 19] Art. 61, Para.2[10] Art. 61, Para . 3[11] Art. 61, Para.4[12] Art. 63; 64; 116(b)[13] Art. 64-67[14] Art.66, Para.115] Art. 67, Para . 116] Art. 66, Para.3; Art. 67, Para . 2[17] Art. 62, Para . 118] Art. 62, Para . 3[19] Ar. 62, Para . 220] Art. 69, Para . 3; Art. Art. 70, Para . 4[21] Ibid[22] Art. 7123] Art. 62, Para . 2; Art. 72[24] Art. 62, Para . 4-525] Art. 62, Subpara. 4 (k)[26] Art. 73, Para . 227] Art.73, Para . 3

Book published:
1988 Fairplay/UK,
2005 (reprint) by

Trafford Publishing,
1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403, Canada.

329 pages, ISBN 1-4120-7665-x;

Available via online-contributer 




Online – Edition

Bernaerts' Guide to the 
1982 United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea


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Bernaerts Guide -UNCLOS 1982

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Preface of the reprint in 2005

More than 15 years ago FAIRPLAY PUBLICATIONS Ltd, Coulsdon, Surrey, England, published the book "Bernaerts' Guide to the Law of the Sea - The 1982 United Nations Convention". The guiding potential of the book to find access to the Law of the Sea Convention is still given. Internet technology and publishing on demand invite to provide the interested reader and researcher with this tool again. Only the Status of the Convention (ratification etc) has been updated and instead of the Final Act, the book edition includes the "Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea" of 1994. The corresponding web site neither includes the text of the 1982 Convention, nor the Agreement of 1994. The thorough Index of the 1988 edition is reproduced without changes.
Arnd Bernaerts, October 2005,
Comments 1988-1990
___"an invaluable guide to the understanding and implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea"
Satya N. Nandan, U.N. Undersecretay, in: Book Foreword, 1988
__"clearly presented" R.R. Churchill, in: Maritime Policy & Management 1989, p. 340
__"the (book's) concept, which is so wonderful simple, is exactly the factor which makes the book so useful for both the novice as well as the person with extensive experience"
M. Bonefeld, in: Verfassung und Recht, 1989, pp. 83-85
__"the work contains much useful background information…." R.W. Bentham, in: Journal of Energy & Natural Resource Law, 1989, p. 336
__"Bernaerts has saved us a struggle" JG, in: Fairplay Shipping Weekly Magazin, 13th October 1988, p. 33
__"this is probably the best edition on the Convention to put into the hands of students"
A.V. Lowe, in: Int'l and Comparative Law Quarterly 1990, p. 16
__"it will be an invaluable reference tool and should sit on the book shelves of policy makers and all others who are involved in maritime matters"
Vivian I. Forbes, in: The Indian Ocean Review, May 1990, p.10

Bernaerts’s Guide to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

FOREWORD of the 1988 edition
by Satya N. Nandan
Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Law of the Sea Office for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea

Revolutionary changes have taken place in the International Law of the Sea since 1945. The process of change was accelerated in the last two decades by the convening in 1973 of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. The protracted negotiations, spanning over a decade, culminated in the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. By 9 December 1984, the closing date for signature, 159 signatures were appended to the Convention, the largest number for any such multilateral instrument in the history of international relations.

The Convention, which was adopted as a comprehensive package, introduced a new equity in the relationship among states with respect to the uses of the ocean and the allocation of its resources. It deals, inter alia, with sovereignty and jurisdiction of states, navigation and marine transport, over flight of aircraft, marine pollution, marine scientific research, marine technology, conservation and exploitation of marine living resources, the development and-exploitation of marine non-living resources in national and international areas, and unique provisions dealing with the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the new regime.

There is no doubt that as we approach the 21st century, more and more attention will be paid to the uses of the oceans and the development of their resources. It is important, therefore, that these developments should take place within a widely accepted legal framework so that there is certainty as to the rights and obligations of all states. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides that framework. It establishes a standard for the conduct of states in maritime matters. It is thus a major instrument for preventing conflicts among states.

The convention and its annexes contain over 400 articles. For many it may be a formidable undertaking to grasp the substance and structure of it without making a considerable investment in time and energy. Mr Bernaerts' guide, therefore, is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the convention. It provides a most useful reference tool which will benefit administrators and policy makers, as well as scholars. It makes the convention accessible to the uninitiated and refreshes, at a glance, the memories of the initiated. With meticulous references and graphic presentations of the provisions of the convention, Mr Bernaerts has given to the international community an invaluable guide to the understanding and implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
April 1988

PREFACE (extract) of the 1988 edition

The reader will be aware that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the first constitution of the oceans, a ground-breaking document in many respects. He or she might also have made the discovery that the full text of the Convention is immediately accessible only to experts. If the Convention were only a treaty consisting of straightforward technical regulatory provisions, it could be left to them with a clear conscience. But the Convention is to a large extent a political document and, as such, is expected to influence significantly the development of relations among the states in the world community; for this reason, a wide-spread knowledge of the scope, goals, and regulatory framework of the Convention can only serve to further the aims of the document and would surely follow the intentions of the many men and women who made this Convention their life-work, such as Arvid Pardo (Malta), Hamilton Shirtey Amerasinghe (Sri Lanka), Tommy T. B. Koh (Singapore), and Satya N. Nandan (Fiji), to name only a few of the hundreds who worked on the preparation of this Convention.
As the reader uses the Guide (Part II), he will find that many provisions of the Convention are much easier to understand if one knows the basic framework within which a particular regulation is placed. The Guide aims to provide this framework, with reference to the text of the Convention and, in addition, t& the supporting Commentary of Part III, which describes the overall context of the major terms arid concepts. The Introduction of Part I sketches the historical background of the Convention and some of the general effects. A detailed index at the end of the book will be of assistance in finding specific subjects.


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