Transparency is considered as a touchstone of good governance and this article sets out to explore how transparency has been implemented in the context of fisheries conservation and management. The focus of the article is on access to information relating to fisheries conservation and management by states, including related activities such as enforcement and trade regulation. The article recognises that there are multiple rationales underpinning the drive for transparency, which results in transparency being implemented in different ways depending on the role that a state is fulfilling. The article also recognises that transparency not only serves to promote trust and confidence between states, but it can also have important implications for fisheries governance at the national level. At the same time, transparency is rarely absolute and it has to be balanced against other considerations, such as the need to protect proprietary information or to ensure effective enforcement. The precise balance that is struck will often depend upon the rules that have been negotiated. The article analyses the relevant legal framework and identifies the emergence of a more detailed understanding of transparency in the context of fisheries conservation and management, and a widening of its scope of application. Taken together, these developments suggest that important inroads have been made in promoting transparency, to the extent that it could be described as a general principle, which exerts an influence over the interpretation and progressive development of international fisheries law.
- international fisheries law