The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has on the 2nd April 2015 given its advisory opinion in Case No. 21, Request for an advisory opinion submitted by the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC). The questions referred to the Tribunal were “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 Zones 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?”.
Availing themselves of the right conferred under article 125(2), of the Rules of the Tribunal, two declarations were appended: Declaration of Judge Wolfrum and Declaration of Judge Cot.
Exercising the right conferred by article 30(3), of the Statute of the Tribunal, three separate opinions were given: Separate opinion of Judge Ndiaye; Separate opinion of Judge Lucky, and Separate opinion of Judge Paik.