MIMA Bulletin Vol 33 2024

Special focus: Passage of Foreign Fishing Vessels and Enforcement Regimes of Coastal States with Reference to Malaysian Practice

Description: The creation and widespread adoption of 200 nautical miles (nmi) of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) represents a dramatic geographic and functional expansion of coastal states’ (refer to all the international conventions) jurisdiction – probably the largest transfer of resources to national jurisdiction in history. These zones cover about 36 per cent (%) of the surface of the seas, 90% of fisheries, and 43% of the value of the world’s “ecosystem services”. Thus, to undertake conservation measures and sustainable exploitation of fisheries and other living resources, which provide livelihoods for more than 59.5 million people and a main source of animal protein for 40% of the eight billion global population, the coastal states are empowered to undertake enforcement measures as provided by Article 73 and, to a certain extent, Article 111 in harmony with Article 300 of UNCLOS. Bearing in mind that an enhanced monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) on the marine fishing operation is an important tool in fisheries law and enforcement, this paper specifically discusses contentious issues of whether foreign fishing vessels (FFVs) and foreign vessels involved in fisheries-related activities (FVFRAs) enjoy the absolute right of innocent passage and freedom of navigation or limited navigational rights in all maritime zones —including the continental shelf of coastal states as provided by various articles in the UNCLOS — or they are bound to comply to the respective coastal states’ domestic laws, that is, through notification or authorisation as a mandatory requirement from relevant coastal states’ authorities, prior to entering and exiting any of their maritime zones. In addition to that, this paper also focuses on the effectiveness of enforcement measures under Section 16 of the Malaysian Fisheries Act 1985 (as amended) by relevant Malaysian maritime enforcement agencies against FFV for the failure to notify, and similar application of domestic laws and practices by other coastal states and issues related to “creeping jurisdiction” in relation to fisheries-extended jurisdiction under the notion of “territorial temptation” of coastal states.

– Editorial
– From the Bridge
– Special Focus: Passage of Foreign Fishing Vessels and Enforcement Regimes of Coastal States with Reference to Malaysian Practice (Ganesan Vethiah, Mohd Yazid Zul Kepli, Muhammad Zulhilmi Mohd Nizam & Nur Fadhlina Chan Mahadie Chan)
– Unlock the Malaysian Ocean Economy with Trade Facilitation Laws (Huda Mahmoud)
– Strengthening International Legal Regime Governing Submarine Cables (Jeslyn Tan)
– Time Overdue for Maritime Law Reform (Matthew Van Huizen)
– Special Interview with Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob