Jack mackerel school of fish

Law of the Sea Tribunal Advisory Opinion


The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has delivered its Advisory Opinion on a request submitted by the Sub-Regional Commission.


On 28 March 2013, the Sub-Regional Commission (SRFC) submitted a request to the Tribunal for an Advisory Opinion on the following questions:

1. What are the obligations of the flag State in cases where Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities are conducted within the Exclusive Economic Zone of third party States?

2. To what extent shall the flag State be held liable for IUU fishing activities conducted by vessels sailing under its flag?

3. Where a fishing license is issued to a vessel within the framework of an international agreement with the flag State or with an international agency, shall the State or international agency be held liable for the violation of the fisheries legislation of the coastal State by the vessel in question?

4. What are the rights and obligations of the coastal State in ensuring the sustainable management of shared stocks and stocks of common interest, especially the small pelagic species and tuna?

The full Advisory Opinion is summarised in a Press Release issued by the International Tribunal