DEVELOPMENT OF POLOCIES AND LEGISLATIONS FOR FISH RESOURCES
IN ARAB COUNTRIES
DR. AHMED BARRANIA
Prof. Fishery Economic & Developing
Institute of National Planning
A wide range of sources causes degradation of marine environment and consequently adverse impacts on its fish resources sustainability. Marine pollution caused by shipping and sea- based activities is one of main sources of fish resources degradation. Approximately more than 100 million tones of oil is shipped through the Gulf and the Red sea and about 20-35 thousand tankers are operating in the Arab marine waters.
Degradation of fish resources can also result from wide range of other activities. These include: construction of coastal infrastructure, urban development, tourism and industry. Over fishing is considered harmful practices for fish resources sustainability.
Despite, national, regional and international efforts, current policies and legislations for fish resources protection have not always proved capable of achieving sustainability of fish resources. Achieving sustainability is often impeded because there is a lack of will to make management decisions or because decisions that have been made are not enacted either due to a lack of will or alack of capacity to act on them. Inappropriate incentives and lack of good governance are often predominant issues preventing sustainability and both link to the absence of secure rights. There is a need to make better progress in the implementation of international instruments relating to sustainability at the national and regional levels.
International law, as reflected in the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Sea as well as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing developed by FAO set forth rights and obligations and provide the international bases upon which to pursue the protection and sustainable development of the marine environment and its renewable fish resources.
Development of fish resources protection policies and legislations consistent with international laws and Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing is of great important in Arab Countries. To this end, it is necessary to:
- Apply preventive, precautionary and anticipatory approaches so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment and its fish resources.
- Ensure prior assessment of activities that may have significant adverse impacts upon fish resources.
- Develop economic incentives, where appropriate, such as polluter pays principle, so as to avoid degradation of fish resources.
- Establishing or improving, as necessary, regulatory and economic tools for fisheries management.
- Promoting environmental impact assessment (EIA) to help ensure an acceptable level of fisheries protection.
- Arab States should intensify regional and international cooperation to strengthen or establish, where necessary, regional oil spill response centers and/or, as appropriate, mechanisms with relevant sub regional, regional and international organizations. These include; The Regional Organization for the protection of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf Of Aden (PERCEGA), the Regional Organization for the protection of the environment of the Gulf and these for the Medetearan sea.
- Preserve habitats and other ecologically sensitive areas by establishing natural marine protectorates.
- States should take effective actions consistent with international laws and Code of Conduct for responsible Fishing to monitor and control fishing activities to ensure compliance with applicable conservation and management rules.