Australia signed the Agreement for the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (the UN Fish Stocks Agreement) in 1995, and ratified it in 1999. The Agreement entered into force generally in December 2001.
The objective of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. The Agreement elaborates upon provisions of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and aims to greatly improve the international management of fishing on the high seas. In particular, the Agreement strengthens the legal regime for conservation and management of highly migratory and straddling fish stocks implemented through global, regional and sub-regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs).
Australia implemented its obligations under the Fish Stocks Agreement in 2001, through the Fisheries Management Act 1991.
See UNCLOS for a list of countries that have ratified the UN Fish Stocks Agreement.