Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Maritime Law & Policy
This dissertation scrutinizes the extent of the rights that the Philippines as a coastal State has with regards to the implementation and enforcement of fishery laws in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). By examining how the right to engage in fishing and the concept of EEZ emerged, as well as laying down the fishery rights of the States in the different maritime zones, this research was able to establish the legal regime involving the fishery laws implementation and enforcement in the EEZ. Thereafter, various States practices were probed to determine the trend of implementation and enforcement of fishery laws in the EEZ. The focus of the study shifted to the Philippine setting by discussing the review of pertinent national legislations and issuances as well as the data gathered from the relevant Philippine authorities which are mandated to implement and enforce fishery laws in the domestic sphere. The aim of the study was to identify the existing gaps in the application of UNCLOS 1982 provisions to the Philippines concerning the implementation and enforcement of fishery laws in the Philippines’ EEZ and recommend measures to address these gaps. An analysis of the existing laws, rules, and regulations divulged that there are indeed gaps in the implementation of fishery laws in the Philippines. The need to enact additional laws and consider entering into boundary delimitation treaties with neighboring countries with which Philippines has overlapping EEZs to comply with several UNCLOS 1982 provisions was revealed. On the other hand, the evaluation of the current Philippine enforcement machineries (i.e., assets and manpower) also showed gaps in the enforcement of fishery laws in the Philippines. The data from the Philippine authorities (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Philippine Coast Guard) led to the conclusion that the country requires additional enforcement mechanisms to enhance its capability to ensure observance with fishery laws thereby curtailing violations thereof.