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Title: A legal critique of the European Union's bilateral fisheries agreements with developing countries in West Africa with particular reference to sustainability
Author: Witbooi, E. V.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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The European Union currently enjoys access to the coastal fish stocks of numerous developing third countries (particularly in West Africa) in terms of bilateral fisheries agreements. These agreements are concluded under and legitimated by the international fisheries regime, which ardently promotes the sustainable use of fisheries resources and the sustainable development of fisheries. In this thesis I analyse these agreements from a (legal) sustainability perspective. Based on my research, I argue that rather than functioning as legal instruments of conservancy, these agreements operate as means to inequitably promote the respective economic and political self-interests of the parties involved. They run contrary to the sustainability tenet of international fisheries law and expose its inherent weaknesses. The need to actively promote the sustainable use of marine fisheries arises from the difficulties in ensuring their effective management, which in turn stem from their common resource nature. International law responds by obliging states to foster the long-term sustainable use of fisheries from a biological, social and economic perspective towards the broader goal of sustainable fisheries development. Coastal states, however, particularly developing countries, struggle to achieve these objectives in their own waters. The challenge is not only to ensure the rational domestic management of their fisheries but also to engender the cooperation of foreign states that access their stocks towards these ends. Fishing arrangements between the European Union (EU) and West African coastal states have on the whole not reflected such cooperation, as I illustrate in my thesis with reference to the case study of EU-Senegalese fishing relations. In response to the deficiencies of the international fisheries regime in this regard, I identify possible alternative approaches to future bilateral fisheries interactions which will likely better foster sustainable fishing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available