Following the recent two-day long talks at the Food and Agriculture Organization's (fao's) Rome headquarters, six countries -- the Comoros, France, Kenya, Mozambique, New Zealand and Seychelles -- have entered into a multilateral agreement to manage fishing in a vast area of the high seas in the south Indian Ocean. The South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement aims to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources, other than tuna, in areas outside national jurisdictions. Experts see the agreement as a major step forward in the process of establishing new regional fishery management organisations to cover areas of the high seas where no such arrangement exists currently. The agreement will join the existing network of fishery commissions, including the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. It will come into force once fao receives the fourth instrument of ratification, including at least two from coastal states.
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