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Fisheries Convention

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  • The Governments of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

    DESIRING to define a regime of fisheries of a permanent character;

    HAVE AGREED as follows:

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  • Article 1

    1. Each Contracting Party recognizes the right of any other Contracting Party to establish the fishery regime described in Articles 2 to 6 of the present Convention.

    2. Each Contracting Party retains however the right to maintain the fishery regime which it applies at the date on which the present Convention is opened for signature, if this regime is more favourable to the fishing of other countries than the regime described in Articles 2 to 6.

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  • Article 2

    The coastal State has the exclusive right to fish and exclusive jurisdiction in matters of fisheries within the belt of six miles measured from the baseline of its territorial sea.

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  • Article 3

    Within the belt between six and twelve miles measured from the baseline of the territorial sea, the right to fish shall be exercised only by the coastal State and by such other Contracting Parties, the fishing vessels of which have habitually fished in that belt between 1st January, 1953 and 31st December 1962.

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  • Article 4

    Fishing vessels of the Contracting Parties, other than the coastal State, permitted to fish under Article 3, shall not direct their fishing effort towards stocks of fish or fishing grounds substantially different from those which they have habitually exploited. The coastal State may enforce this rule.

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  • Article 5

    1. Within the belt mentioned in Article 3 the coastal State has the power to regulate the fisheries and to enforce such regulations, including regulations to give effect to internationally agreed measures of conservation, provided that there shall be no discrimination in form or in fact against fishing vessels of other Contracting Parties fishing in conformity with Articles 3 and 4.

    2. Before issuing regulations, the coastal State shall inform the other Contracting Parties concerned and consult those Contracting Parties, if they so wish.

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  • Article 6

    Any straight baseline or bay closing line which a Contracting Party may draw shall be in accordance with the rules of general international law and in particular with the provisions of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone opened for signature at Geneva on 29th April, 1958.

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  • Article 7

    Where the coasts of two Contracting Parties are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of these Contracting Parties is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to establish a fisheries regime beyond the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the low water lines of the coasts of the Contracting Parties concerned.

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  • Article 8

    1. Once a Contracting Party applies the regime described in Articles 2 to 6, any right to fish which it may thereafter grant to a State not a Contracting Party shall extend automatically to the other Contracting Parties, whether or not they could claim this right by virtue of habitual fishing, to the extent that the State not a Contracting Party avails itself effectively and habitually of that right.

    2. If a Contracting Party which has established the regime described in Articles 2 to 6 should grant to another Contracting Party any right to fish which the latter cannot claim under Articles 3 and 4, the same right shall extend automatically to all other Contracting Parties.

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  • Article 9

    1. In order to allow fishermen of other Contracting Parties, who have habitually fished in the belt provided for in Article 2 to adapt themselves to their exclusion from that belt, a Contracting Party which establishes the regime provided for in Articles 2 to 6, shall grant to such fishermen the right to fish in that belt for a transitional period, to be determined by agreement between the Contracting Parties concerned.

    2. If a Contracting Party establishes the regime described in Articles 2 to 6, it may, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2, continue to accord the right to fish in the whole or part of the belt provided for in Article 2 to other Contracting Parties of which the fishermen have habitually fished in the area by reason of voisinage arrangements.

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  • Article 10

    Nothing in the present Convention shall prevent the maintenance or establishment of a special regime in matters of fisheries:

    (a) as between States Members and Associated States of the European Economic Community,

    (b) as between States Members of the Benelux Economic Union,

    (c) as between Denmark, Norway and Sweden,

    (d) as between France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in respect of Granville Bay and the Minquiers and the Ecrehos,

    (e) as between Spain, Portugal and their respective neighbouring countries in Africa,

    (f) in the Skagerrak and the Kattegat.

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  • Article 11

    Subject to the approval of the other Contracting Parties, a coastal State may exclude particular areas from the full application of Articles 3 and 4 in order to give preference to the local population if it is overwhelmingly dependent upon coastal fisheries.

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  • Article 12

    The present Convention applies to the waters adjacent to the coasts of the Contracting Parties listed in Annex I. This Annex may be amended with the consent of the Governments of the Contracting Parties. Any proposal for amendment shall be sent to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which shall notify it to all Contracting Parties, and inform them of the date on which it enters into force.

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  • Article 13

    Unless the parties agree to seek a solution by another method of peaceful settlement, any dispute which may arise between Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention shall at the request of any of the parties be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of Annex II to the present Convention.

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  • Article 14

    1. The present Convention shall be open for signature from 9th March, 1964 to 10th April, 1964. It shall be subject to ratification or approval by the signatory Governments, in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures. The instruments of ratification or approval shall be deposited as soon as possible with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    2. The present Convention shall enter into force upon the deposit of instruments of ratification or approval by eight signatory Governments. If, however, on 1st January, 1966, this condition is not fulfilled, those Governments which have deposited their instruments of ratification or approval may agree by special protocol on the date on which the Convention shall enter into force. In either case the Convention shall enter into force with respect to any Government that ratifies or approves thereafter on the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification or approval.

    3. Any State may at any time after the Convention has come into force accede thereto upon such conditions as may be agreed by it with the Contracting Parties. Accession on the conditions agreed shall be effected by notice in writing addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    4. The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall inform all signatory and acceding Governments of all instruments of ratification or approval deposited and accessions received and shall notify signatory and acceding Governments of the dates on which and the Governments in respect of which the present Convention enters into force.

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  • Article 15

    The present Convention shall be of unlimited duration. However at any time after the expiration of a period of twenty years from the initial entry into force of the present Convention, any Contracting Party may denounce the Convention by giving two years' notice in writing to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The latter shall notify the denunciation to the Contracting Parties.

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  • IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed the present Convention.

    DONE at London this ninth day of March, 1964, in the English and French languages, each text being equally authoritative, in a single original which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which shall transmit a certified true copy thereof to each signatory and acceding Government.

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