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Summary of the "Convention Concerning Fishing in the Black Sea" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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CONVENTION CONCERNING FISHING IN THE BLACK SEA

Varna, 7 July 1959


The Governments of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the 
Romanian People's Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics,

Having a common interest in the rational utilization of the 
fishery resources of the Black Sea and in the development of 
marine fishing,

Have decided to conclude this Convention and have for this 
purpose appointed as their plenipotentiaries:

who, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due 
form, have agreed as follows:


Article 1

The Contracting Parties agree to co-operate and to assist one 
another, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, in 
carrying on rational fishing in the Black Sea, in improving 
fishing technique, and in carrying out research in the field of 
ichthylogy and hydrobiology for the purpose of maintaining and 
augmenting the stocks of fish in the Black Sea with a view to 
increasing the yield.

The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the status of 
the territorial and inland waters of the Contracting Parties.


Article 2

Fishing vessels of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the 
Romanian People's Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics engaged in fishing in the open sea may enter the 
following ports of refuge in order to shelter from bad weather or 
in case of damage:

In the People's Republic of Bulgaria: Balchik, Varna, Nesebur, 
Burgas, Sozopol and Michurin;

In the Romanian People's Republic: Constanta and Sulina;

In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Odessa, Evpatoria, 
Yalta, Novorossysk, Sochi, Sukhum, Poti and Batum.

The list of ports of refuge may be amended by agreement among the 
Parties to the Convention.


Article 3

In the cases referred to in article 2 of this Convention, the 
fishing vessels of the Contracting Parties shall where necessary 
be given an opportunity to repair the damage and to replenish 
their supplies of foodstuffs, drinking water, fuel, lubricants and 
other ship's stores so that the vessel may continue on its route 
or return to its nearest home port, and an opportunity to dispose 
of their catch fresh at the ports of refuge if it cannot be 
preserved on board the vessel.


Article 4

The procedure governing the disposal of fish and payment for 
services rendered to fishing vessels entering ports of refuge and 
for fish disposed of in the cases referred to in article 3 of this 
Convention shall be agreed between the competent authorities of 
the Parties to the Convention.


Article 5

The following shall be the minimum sizes at which fish may be 
taken:

Beluga (Huso huso). ....................140 cm

Russian sturgeon (Acipenser
guldenstaedti) . ............... ........80 cm

Sevryuga (Acipenser stellatus) ..........75 cm

Turbot (Rhombus maeoticus) ............. 35 cm

Shad (Alosa kessleri pontica) ...........16 cm

The size of a fish shall be determined by measuring its length 
from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail fin.

Any fish taken which is under the prescribed size must be put 
back in the sea.

The taking of fish under the prescribed minimum size shall be 
permissible in a proportion not exceeding the following percentage 
by number of the total catch of each protected species:

8 per cent in the case of shad (Alosa kessleri pontica);

5 per cent in the case of turbot (Rhombus macoticus); and

5 per cent in the case of Acipenseridae (Huso huso, Acipenser 
guldenstaedti, Acipenser stellatus).

The taking of Acipenser nudiventris shall be prohibited for five 
years from the date of entry into force of this Convention.


Article 6

For the purpose of preparing forecasts for fishing in the Black 
Sea, the Contracting Parties agree to exchange by any suitable 
means operational information concerning the migration of 
industrial fish, indicating the time and place at which they 
congregate, the direction of movement, the density of the schools, 
and the hydrometeorological conditions in which such congregations 
and migrations are observed.


Article 7

With a view to the rational utilization of the stocks of fish in 
the Black Sea, the Contracting Parties agree to exchange 
information annually on the results of scientific research in the 
fields of marine ichthyology, hydrobiology and fishing technique.

The Contracting Parties shall exchange statistical data on 
catches of fish.


Article 8

With a view to working out and co-ordinating measures for the 
application of this Convention, a Mixed Commission shall be 
established.

Within one month after the entry into force of the Convention, 
each Contracting Party shall appoint one representative to the 
said Commission and shall communicate the name of its 
representative to the other Contracting Parties.

The Mixed Commission shall meet at least once a year in the 
territory of each of the Contracting Parties in turn.

The Mixed Commission shall function under a statute drafted by it 
at its first meeting and approved by the Contracting Parties.


Article 9

The Mixed Commission shall have the following functions:

1. It shall work out agreed measures to regulate fishing, with a 
view to the conservation and augmentation of the stocks of fish in 
the Black Sea, and to develop industrial fishing technique;

2. It shall introduce amendments to article 5 of the Convention 
concerning the species and dimensions of fish caught in the Black 
Sea. Proposals for such amendments must be communicated to the 
representatives of the Contracting Parties on the Mixed Commission 
not later than three months before the opening of the Commission's 
regular session;

3. It shall co-ordinate the planning of scientific research 
projects on matters relating to fishing in the Black Sea, to be 
conducted by the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties;

4. It shal determine the nature and extent of the statistical and 
other data which each Contracting Party shall furnish to the Mixed 
Commission for the purpose of implementing this Convention;

5. It shall exchange information concerning the application of 
this Convention;

6. It shall examine such other matters as the Contracting Parties 
may refer to it.


Article 10

The Mixed Commission shall make recommendations to the 
Contracting Parties on the matters referred to in article 9 with 
the exception of paragraph 2 of that article, on which the 
Commission may take decisions.

Recommendations and decisions shall be deemed to be adopted by 
the Mixed Commission if they receive the favourable votes of the 
representatives of all the Contracting Parties.

The recommendations of the Mixed Commission shall be submitted to 
the Contracting Parties for approval and may be given effect if 
none of the Parties raises objections within four months.


Article 11

This Convention shall not impede the conclusion of bilateral 
agreements on matters relating to fishing in the Black Sea between 
any two Contracting Parties or between a Contracting Party and any 
other Black Sea State, so long as such agreements do not conflict 
with the terms of this Convention.


Article 12

This Convention shall be ratified and shall enter into force on 
the date of deposit of the last instrument of ratification with 
the Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, in whose
archives the original of the Convention shall be kept.

The Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria shall notify 
the Governments of all Contracting Parties of the date of deposit 
of the last instrument of ratification.

Certified true copies of this Convention shall be transmitted by 
the Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria to the other 
Contracting Parties.


Article 13

This Convention is concluded for a term of five years. It shall 
remain in force for successive terms of five years for those 
Contracting Parties which do not inform the Government of the 
People's Republic of Bulgaria, six months before the expiry of the 
current five-year term, that they wish to terminate the 
Convention.


Article 14

Other Black Sea States may accede to this Convention.


Article 15

The Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria shall take 
the necessary action to register this Convention with the 
Secretariat of the United Nations.

Done at Varna, on 7 July 1959, in one copy in the Bulgarian, 
Romanian and Russian languages, all texts being equally authentic.