Addressing Fisheries at the Global Level
Conserving and managing shared fisheries resources requires international cooperation, multilateral diplomacy, and information sharing. There are several international organizations associated with the conservation and management of living marine resources that provide a forum for States to discuss international fisheries issues, and to develop approaches for addressing them. These organizations include the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and it’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The United States is a member of these organizations, and the State Department works closely with other U.S. agencies, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, to represent U.S. interests within them.
Through these organizations the international community has developed multilateral fisheries agreements, codes of conduct, international plans of action, and guidelines for fisheries management.
Fisheries issues are also annually debated by the United Nations General Assembly in the negotiation of its Sustainable Fisheries resolution. These negotiations are chaired by the Department of State, though the Office of Marine Conservation. These resulting resolutions often take the international debate forward on issues of key concern. For example, in 2004 and 2006 the Sustainable Fisheries resolution addressed the pressing issue of destructive fishing practices and managing deep sea fisheries and in 2007 it addressed shark conservation and management.