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August 16, 2014 17:21

Commission okays draft accord on conservation of Caspian bioresources

MOSCOW. Aug 16 (Interfax) - The Commission on Aquatic Bioresources of the Caspian Sea has agreed a draft agreement on the conservation and rational use of Caspian bioresources, primarily sturgeon.

The draft document was a compromise result of intensive debates during a three-day commission session in Moscow attended by delegations of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan, the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) said in a statement.

"The representatives of some of the countries pointed out that the width of offshore fishery zones to be under national jurisdictions is a problem that would need to be solved before individual provisions of the Agreement can be implemented. Nevertheless, the parties on the whole accepted that this matter lies outside the powers of the interagency Commission," Rosrybolovstvo said.

The five delegations reaffirmed that their countries wanted the draft accord to be signed during the planned Fourth Caspian Summit in Astrakhan, Russia, next month, the agency said.

The draft agreement is based on decisions by the Third Caspian Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2010.

It would mandate that fishing follow national quotas based on criteria agreed by the five nations and formalized by the commission, and record mutual commitments on fighting poaching and on measures for the reproduction of fish reserves.

The commission, which is the sole legitimate body for the management of the Caspian's bioresources, was set up in 1992, comprising representatives of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Iran joined the team in 2002.


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