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Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region

Done at Honiara, 9 July 1992

Entered into force 20 May 1993

THE PARTIES TO THIS TREATY:

GIVEN that in accordance with international law as expressed in
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, coastal
States have sovereign rights for the purposes of exploring and
exploiting, conserving and managing the fisheries resources of
their exclusive economic zones and fisheries zones;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT Article 73 of the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea;

NOTING that the Parties to the South Pacific Forum Fisheries
Agency Convention, 1979 have agreed under Article 5 of that
Convention that the Forum Fisheries Committee shall promote
intra-regional coordination and cooperation in fisheries
surveillance and law enforcement;

CONSIDERING the vast areas of ocean covered by the exclusive
economic zones and fisheries zones of coastal States in the
South Pacific region and the vital economic significance of such
zones to the economic development of South Pacific coastal
States;

WISHING THEREFORE to enhance their ability to enforce
effectively their fisheries laws, and deter breaches of such
laws;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

In this Treaty:

(a) "fishing" means:

(i) searching for, catching, taking or harvesting fish;

(ii) attempting to search for, catch, take or harvest fish;

(iii) engaging in any other activity which can reasonably be
expected to result in the locating, catching, taking or
harvesting of fish;

(iv) placing, searching for or recovering fish aggregating
devices or associated electronic equipment such as radio
beacons;

(v) any operations at sea directly in support of, or in
preparation for any activity described in this paragraph;

(vi) use of any craft, air or sea borne, for any activity
described in this paragraph except for emergencies involving the
health and safety of the crew or the safety of a vessel;

(vii) the processing, carrying or transhipping of fish that have
been taken.

(b) "fishing vessel" means any boat, ship or other craft which
is used for, equipped to be used for, or of a type normally used
for fishing;

(c) "foreign fishing agreement" means an agreement or
arrangement authorizing or permitting foreign fishing vessels to
fish in the exclusive economic zone or fisheries zone of any
Party;

(d) "foreign fishing vessel" in relation to a Party means a
fishing vessel which is not part of the domestic fleet of that
Party;

(e) "South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency" means the Agency of
that name established by the South Pacific Forum Fisheries
Agency Convention, 1979; and

(f) "Subsidiary Agreement" means an agreement or an arrangement
entered into by any two or more Parties in accordance with this
Treaty.

Article II

Relationship with other treaties

1. Rights and obligations under this Treaty shall apply as
between the Parties in addition to any right or obligation
concerning a similar matter applicable to a Party under any
other Treaty.

2. A Subsidiary Agreement may expand upon rights and obligations
under this Treaty in their application between the Parties to
the Subsidiary Agreement.

Article III

General cooperation

1. The Parties shall cooperate in the enforcement of their
fisheries laws and regulations in accordance with this Treaty
and may agree on forms of assistance for that purpose.

2. The Parties shall cooperate to develop regionally agreed
procedures for the conduct of fisheries surveillance and law
enforcement. Where appropriate, fisheries surveillance and law
enforcement will be conducted in accordance with such regionally
agreed procedures.

Article IV

Cooperation in the implementation of harmonized minimum terms
and conditions of fisheries access

1. The Parties shall cooperate in the implementation of
harmonized minimum terms and conditions of fisheries access as
may be agreed upon from time to time.

2. The Parties shall ensure that no foreign fishing vessel shall
be licensed for fishing unless the vessel has good standing on
the Regional Register of Foreign Fishing Vessels maintained by
the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency.

3. The Parties shall ensure that foreign fishing vessels
licensed to fish under foreign fishing agreements are, as a
minimum, required to provide reports in accordance with the
standard forms of reporting as set out in the harmonized minimum
terms and conditions of fisheries access from time to time.

4. The Parties shall ensure that fishing vessels licensed to
fish under foreign fishing agreements are required to be readily
identifiable from the sea and the air by way of distinctive
markings.

5. The Parties shall, as far as possible, ensure that foreign
fishing agreements with flag States require the flag State to
take responsibility for the compliance by its flag vessels with
the terms of any such agreement and applicable laws.

6. The Parties shall, as far as possible, ensure that foreign
fishing arrangements with foreign parties, including Fishing
Associations, require the foreign party to take responsibility
for the compliance by its vessels with the terms of any such
arrangement and applicable laws.

Article V

Exchange of information

1. Each Party shall, to the extent permitted by its national
laws and regulations, provide to the South Pacific Forum
Fisheries Agency, or to any other Party directly, information
relevant to the purposes of this Treaty, including but not
limited to information about:

(a) the location and movement of foreign fishing vessels;

(b) foreign fishing vessel licensing; and

(c) fisheries surveillance and law enforcement activities.

2. The Parties shall develop standard forms and procedures for
reporting information provided under paragraph 1 of this Article
and effective methods for communicating such information.

Article VI

Cooperation in fisheries surveillance and law enforcement

1. A Party may, by way of provisions in a Subsidiary Agreement
or otherwise, permit another Party to extend its fisheries
surveillance and law enforcement activities to the territorial
sea and archipelagic waters of that Party. In such
circumstances, the conditions and method of stopping,
inspecting, detaining, directing to port and seizing vessels
shall be governed by the national laws and regulations
applicable in the State in whose territorial sea or archipelagic
waters the fisheries surveillance or law enforcement activity
was carried out.

2. Vessels seized by another Party pursuant to an agreement
under paragraph 1 of this Article in the territorial sea or
archipelagic waters of a Party shall, together with the persons
on board, be handed over as soon as possible to the authorities
of that Party.

3. Any two or more Parties may enter into a Subsidiary Agreement
under which they would cooperate in the provision of personnel
and the use of vessels, aircraft or other items of equipment for
fisheries surveillance and law enforcement purposes. Vessels and
aircraft shall be identified as set out in Annex 1.

4. Any Party wishing to authorize its officers to perform
fisheries surveillance and law enforcement functions on its
behalf while on board a vessel or aircraft of another Party
shall by instrument in writing designate the officers
accordingly and such officers shall be identified as set out in
Annex 2.

5. Any Party wishing to authorize the officers of another Party
to perform fisheries surveillance and law enforcement functions
on its behalf while on board a vessel of that other Party shall
by instrument in writing designate such officers accordingly.
Officers carrying out enforcement functions shall be identified
by a card in the form set out in Annex 2 with such variations as
may be agreed to in a Subsidiary Agreement or otherwise.

Article VII

Cooperation in prosecutions

1. The Parties may, by way of provisions in a Subsidiary
Agreement or otherwise, agree on procedures for the extradition
to a Party of persons charged with offences against the
fisheries laws of that Party.

2. A Party may request another Party which is holding a person
or any equipment (including a vessel) in custody for an offence
against the laws of the holding Party to assist the requesting
Party to enforce its fisheries laws in respect of that person or
equipment. The holding Party shall provide such assistance upon
completion of its legal processes and to the extent permitted by
its national laws and regulations. Such assistance shall be
provided on conditions as to cost recovery or other matters as
the Parties agree in each case.

3. The Parties may agree on procedures whereby persons permitted
to appear as advocates or expert witnesses in the courts of one
Party are, for the purposes of judicial proceedings involving
offences against fisheries laws, entitled to perform the same or
substantially similar functions in the courts of another Party.

4. Where there are waters over which more than one Party claims
to have jurisdiction for the purposes of the application of
fisheries laws, the Parties concerned shall for the purposes of
the application of this Agreement seek to adopt the provisional
lines used for the distribution of revenue received under the
Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific
Island States and the Government of the United States of America
done at Port Moresby on 2 April 1987.

Article VIII

Cooperation in enforcement of penalties

Should two or more Parties wish to provide that a penalty
imposed by one Party under its fisheries laws be enforced by
another Party, they may, by way of provisions in a Subsidiary
Agreement or otherwise, agree on procedures for that purpose
consistent with their national laws.

Article IX

Consultations

The Director of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, at the
request of any three or more Parties, shall convene a meeting to
discuss any matter arising out of the application of this
Treaty. The meeting shall be held at such time and place as the
Parties may agree, but shall be held not more than 90 days after
the request is notified to the Director.

Article X

Notification

1. Each Party shall notify the Director of the South Pacific
Forum Fisheries Agency of the current postal, cable, telex and
facsimile addresses which it wishes to be used for the receipt
of notices given pursuant to this Treaty, and of any changes to
a notified address. The Director of the South Pacific Forum
Fisheries Agency shall inform all Parties of the notified
addresses.

2. Any notice given under this Treaty shall be in writing and
may be served by hand, post, cable, telex or facsimile to the
notified address.

Article XI

Depositary

The depositary for this Treaty shall be the Government of Niue.

Article XII

Amendments

1. Any Party may propose to the depositary an amendment to this
Treaty, which shall be considered by the Parties at a meeting
arranged in accordance with Article IX.

2. The text of any amendments shall be adopted by unanimous
decision of the Parties to the Treaty.

3. Any amendment to this Treaty which is adopted by the Parties
shall enter into force upon the receipt by the depositary of the
instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval by all of
the Parties, or on such later date as may be specified in the
amendment.

4. The depositary shall notify all of the Parties of the entry
into force of an amendment.

Article XIII

Final clauses

1. This Treaty shall be open for signature by:

(a) any member of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency;

(b) any Territory of a Member of the South Pacific Forum
Fisheries Agency which has been authorized to sign the Treaty
and to assume rights and obligations under it by the Government
of the State which is internationally responsible for it.

2. This Treaty is subject to ratification by members of the
South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency and the Territories
referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article. The instruments of
ratification shall be deposited with the depositary.

3. This Treaty shall enter into force on the date of deposit of
the fourth instrument of ratification.

4. This Treaty shall remain open for accession by the members of
the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency and the Territories
referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article. The instruments of
accession shall be deposited with the depositary.

5. If all of the Parties agree, a State which is not a Party to
the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency Convention may accede
to this Treaty.

6. For any member of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency or
a State or Territory which ratifies or accedes to the Treaty
after the date of deposit of the fourth instrument of
ratification, the Treaty shall enter into force on the date of
deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.

Article XIV

Certification and registration

1. The original of the Treaty shall be deposited with the
depositary, which shall transmit certified copies to all States
and Territories eligible to become party to this Treaty.

2. The depositary shall register this Treaty in accordance with
Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by
their respective Governments, have signed this Treaty.

OPENED FOR SIGNATURE at Honiara, Solomon Islands on the ninth
day of July, One thousand nine hundred and ninety two.

Annex 1

FISHERIES SURVEILLANCE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT FLAG AND MARKINGS

Regional Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement Flag:

[graphic omitted]

The Regional Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement Flag is
authorized for use by vessels during fisheries surveillance
patrols. It should be flown at the same times as the national or
ensign flag with the national or ensign flag superior.

Aircraft Markings:

Aircraft shall be clearly marked and identifiable in a manner
agreed between the Parties to subsidiary agreements.

Annex 2

IDENTIFICATION CARD