The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reports that living marine resources have been drained by overexploiting, over-fishing and by-catching. The traditional fisheries management, based on Mare Liberum by Hugo Grotius, caused the reduction of fishery resources of the High Seas. Moreover, with development of science and technology, fishery resources of the High Seas were in significant danger. From the 1950s until the 1970s, world fisheries production was in an economic boom and the High Sea fishing during the 1970s to 1990s rapidly increased twofold.
The International Communities recognized that it was being exhausted of fishery resources of the High Seas, so an international conference was held to prevent the continued loss of fishery resources of the High Seas. In Between 1992 and 1994, the precautionary principle in fisheries management was developed at the UN Fish Stock Conference. This included reference to the precautionary target, limit and threshold reference point. Finally Agenda 21 and principle 15 of the Rio Declaration were inserted into the concept of the precautionary principle.
Recently, the precautionary principle has been applied to the United Nations Resolutions, international treaties and declarations, and so on. Moreover, it has affected the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the Southern Bluefin Tuna case. Also several countries are applying the precautionary principle to their national law.
The precautionary principle is related to scientific uncertainty and is characterized by the shift of burden of proving harmless to the party who wants to act in environmental activities.
Despite the argument of the term and standard of the precautionary principle, it is continually going to serve an important role in the convention and management of fishery resources of the High Seas.
The precautionary principle is also important to Korea in that fisheries are taking a great part of Korean economics. Therefore, this thesis aims to analyze the past and present of the precautionary principle for predicting the future management in fishery resources of the High Seas and making alterations to it.
Under the objective, the contents of this thesis are as follows:
Chapter Ⅱ deals with the history of the precautionary principle and applies the management of fishery resources of the High Seas.
Chapter Ⅲ reviews the applied examples of the precautionary principle in fishery resources of the High Seas through the United Nations Resolutions, the fishery bodies of regional and subregional, and the judgment of the ICJ.
Chapter Ⅳ analyzes the problems of the precautionary principle, proposes their solution and examines the present condition of accepting the precautionary principle into Korean national law.
Chapter Ⅴ, as a conclusion, describes the result of this study and commends the future of the precautionary principle.