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This work focuses on a specific aspect of the enforcement of maritime claims, namely judicial sales of ships, a procedure creditors typically resort to in the event of an irreversible default situation. A substantial part of the book approaches the topic from a comparative perspective, the goal being to assess the similarities and differences of the judicial sale procedure between three specific jurisdictions: Belgium, the Netherlands, and England & Wales. In this study, the comparison is used to further analyse the impacts of these differences on the effectiveness and reliability of the judicial sale procedure in each jurisdiction and also forms the basis for assessing the feasibility of harmonising judicial sale procedures and fostering their acceptance. Considering the international character typical of judicial sales of ships, conflict-of-law questions are very likely to arise during these procedures. Accordingly, the comparative study, where appropriate, is viewed against a private international law background.



Chapter 1 Introduction

The current situation of many commercially-exploited fish species is worrying with nearly 30 % of all stocks around the globe qualifying as overfished. In particular, the biomass of big predatory species, such as tunas, is severely reduced. As for collapsed stocks, for instance the cod in the Northwest Atlantic, they will need several decades to recover from overexploitation. Overfishing, caused by excessive—and yet often disregarded—quotas, driven by fleet overcapacity and aggravated by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, dangerously depletes stocks and threatens to drive some species to extinction. The resource management regimes in charge have consequently been widely criticized; the institutions involved, their interactions and balance sheets are questioned, but with no easy one-fits-all solution in sight.

Solène Guggisberg

Fishing Crisis, Regulations and Structural Issues


Chapter 2 Fishing Crisis and Aquaculture

Many stocks of commercially-exploited fishes are overexploited with collapse as a possible consequence, especially in the case of particularly vulnerable species. This is the overarching problem of today’s fisheries. While the validity of the most alarming reports is questioned by some, the large majority of scientists agree that the current level of exploitation of many fisheries is not sustainable in the long-term. The problem of fish species' depletion is mostly caused by overfishing, IUU fishing and incidental by-catch. However, other factors such as habitat alteration or climatic variations have an important effect on the ability of stocks to replenish and thus on the level at which sustainable fishing can be set. Aquaculture and farm-ranching are presented by some of their supporters as the solution to the fishing crisis. These practices have clearly some potential as ersatz to wild-capture, but they also bring problems of their own, particularly with regard to catching juveniles as spawning stock and to the use of wild-caught fish as food for predatory aquaculture stocks.

Solène Guggisberg

Chapter 3 Global and Regional Legal Regimes Dealing with Commercially-exploited Marine Species

Several sets of rules have been developed in international law, which are either directly meant to regulate fisheries or which can be used to do so. In some cases, institutions have also been established to coordinate and oversee their implementation by states. The relevant global and regional legal regimes will be presented: the framework regime, the management regimes, the conservation regimes and the trade regime of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Solène Guggisberg

Chapter 4 Structural and Governance Issues

The international governance of fisheries suffers from several structural deficiencies, in particular the lack of a clear framework as to the rights and obligations of states fishing on the high seas, the traditional problem of fragmentation, inadequate conservation and management measures as well as imperfect adoption procedures, and finally weak compliance and enforcement mechanisms. The analysis of these issues allows a presentation, a contrario, of the characteristics of appropriate governance, which will serve, in Chapter 5, to demonstrate the added value of using CITES.

Solène Guggisberg

The Use of CITES for Commercially-exploited Fish Species


Chapter 5 Protection of Commercially-exploited Fish Species Under CITES

In this chapter, after discussing the philosophies underlying CITES, the legality of listing fish species under CITES will be clarified, the adequacy of the regime for that purpose analyzed, and the effects as well as the potential contribution of using CITES towards effective governance of marine fisheries assessed.

Solène Guggisberg

Chapter 6 CITES Cooperation with Other Institutions in Relation to Commercially-exploited Fish Species

CITES has a tradition of cooperating with other institutions, be they international organizations, MEAs secretariats or NGOs. Currently, coherency and mutual supportiveness are the explicit focus of one of its Strategic Vision’s goal. Cooperation with biodiversity-related conventions has even been the object of a Resolution adopted at CoP16, encouraging parties to continue and strengthen such synergies. In the case of marine species, the legal framework applicable is quite particular. Within this framework, collaborative work occurs at several stages: expertise is provided to CITES for specific developments of the regime, support is requested and given in relation to listing and some cooperation takes place to support the implementation of the protection under CITES.

Solène Guggisberg

General Conclusions and Recommendations


Chapter 7 Desirability of Using CITES

While some states have expressed that CITES is not the right forum for fisheries and hence tried to exclude commercially-exploited fish species from its mandate, or at least to reduce the options to use this regime to the cases where a management regime is absent, nothing in the Convention can legally support such proposals.

Solène Guggisberg

Chapter 8 Recommendations

In general, a proposal only has chances to succeed if enough political will is present. Even if the required qualified majority is reached, if the fishing states and main importing states are not on board, the regime will suffer, at worst from reservations and at best from unwilling and hence imperfect implementation. Also relevant is the condition that international trade is a major factor in the species depletion; otherwise indeed, the regime will be of little use and such feel-good decisions can be dangerous for its credibility.

Solène Guggisberg


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