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Text of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles

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Text of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles
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English
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Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles
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Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles

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Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network
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Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network
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AA00012418:00001


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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Text of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF SEA TURTLES PREAMBLE The Parties to this Convention: Recognizing the rights and duties of States established in international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982, relating to the conservation and management of living marine resources; Inspired by the principles contained in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; Considering the principles and recommendations set forth in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing adopted by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in its 28th Session (1995); Recalling that Agenda 21, adopted in 1992 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, recognizes the need to protect and restore endangered marine species and to conserve their habitats; Understanding that, in accordance with the best available scientific evidence, species of sea turtles in the Americas are threatened or endangered, and that some of these species may face an imminent risk of extinction; Acknowledging the importance of having the States in the Americas adopt an agreement to address this situation through an instrument that also facilitates the participation of States from other regions interested in the worldwide protection and conservation of sea turtles, taking into account the widely migratory nature of these species; Recognizing that sea turtles are subject to capture, injury or mortality as a direct or indirect result of human-related activities; Considering that coastal zone management measures are indispensable for protecting populations of sea turtles and their habitats; Recognizing the individual environmental, socio-economic and 1

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cultural conditions in the States in the Americas; Recognizing that sea turtles migrate widely throughout marine areas and that their protection and conservation require cooperation and coordination among States within the range of such species; Recognizing also the programs and activities that certain States are currently carrying out for the protection and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats; Desiring to establish, through this Convention, appropriate measures for the protection and conservation of sea turtles throughout their range in the Americas, as well as their habitats; Have agreed as follows: ARTICLE I DEFINITIONS For the purposes of this Convention: 1. "Sea turtle" means any of the species listed in Annex I. 2. "Sea turtle habitats" means all those aquatic and terrestrial environments which sea turtles use at any stage of their life cycles. 3. "Parties" means States which have consented to be bound by this Convention and for which this Convention is in force. 4. "States in the Americas" means the States of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea, as well as other States that have continental or insular territories in this region. ARTICLE II OBJECTIVE The objective of this Convention is to promote the protection, conservation and recovery of sea turtle populations and of the habitats on which they depend, based on the best available scientific evidence, taking into account the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of the Parties. ARTICLE III AREA OF APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION The area of application of this Convention (the Convention Area) comprises the land territory in the Americas of each of the Parties, as well as the maritime areas of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with respect to which each of the Parties exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction over living marine resources in accordance with international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. ARTICLE IV MEASURES 1. Each Party shall take appropriate and necessary measures, in accordance with international law and on the basis of the best available scientific evidence, 2

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for the protection, conservation and recovery of sea turtle populations and their habitats: a. In its land territory and in maritime areas with respect to which it exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction included within the Convention Area; and b. Notwithstanding Article III, with respect to vessels on the high seas that are authorized to fly its flag. 2. Such measures shall include: a. The prohibition of the intentional capture, retention or killing of, and domestic trade in, sea turtles, their eggs, parts or products; b. Compliance with the obligations established under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) relating to sea turtles, their eggs, parts or products; c. To the extent practicable, the restriction of human activities that could seriously affect sea turtles, especially during the periods of reproduction, nesting and migration; d. The protection, conservation and, if necessary, the restoration of sea turtle habitats and nesting areas, as well as the establishment of necessary restrictions on the use of such zones, including the designation of protected areas, as provided in Annex II; e. The promotion of scientific research relating to sea turtles and their habitats, as well as to other relevant matters that will provide reliable information useful for the adoption of the measures referred to in this Article; f. The promotion of efforts to enhance sea turtle populations, including research into the experimental reproduction, raising and reintroduction of sea turtles into their habitats in order to determine the feasibility of these practices to increase populations, without putting sea turtles at risk; g. The promotion of environmental education and dissemination of information in an effort to encourage the participation of government institutions, nongovernmental organizations and the general public of each State, especially those communities that are involved in the protection, conservation and recovery of sea turtle populations and their habitats; h. The reduction, to the greatest extent practicable, of the incidental capture, retention, harm or mortality of sea turtles in the course of fishing activities, through the appropriate regulation of such activities, as well as the development, improvement and use of appropriate gear, devices or techniques, including the use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) pursuant to the provisions of Annex III, and the corresponding training, in keeping with the principle of the sustainable use of fisheries resources; and i. Any other measure, in accordance with international law, which the Parties deem appropriate to achieve the objective of this Convention. 3. With respect to such measures: 3

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a. Each Party may allow exceptions to Paragraph 2(a) to satisfy economic subsistence needs of traditional communities, taking into account the recommendations of the Consultative Committee established pursuant to Article VII, provided that such exceptions do not undermine efforts to achieve the objective of this Convention. In making its recommendations, the Consultative Committee shall consider, inter alia, the status of the sea turtle populations in question, the views of any Party regarding such populations, impacts on such populations on a regional level, and methods used to take the eggs or turtles to cover such needs. b. A Party allowing such an exception shall: i) establish a management program that includes limits on levels of intentional taking; ii) include in its Annual Report, referred to in Article XI, information concerning its management program. c. Parties may establish, by mutual agreement, bilateral, subregional or regional management plans. d. The Parties may, by consensus, approve exceptions to the measures set forth in paragraph 2(c)-(i) to account of circumstances warranting special consideration, provided that such exceptions do not undermine the objective of this Convention. 4. When an emergency situation is identified that undermines efforts to achieve the objective of this Convention and that requires collective action, the Parties shall consider the adoption of appropriate and adequate measures to address the situation. These measures shall be of a temporary nature and shall be based on the best available scientific evidence. ARTICLE V MEETINGS OF THE PARTIES 1. For the first three years following the entry into force of this Convention, the Parties shall hold an ordinary meeting at least once per year to consider matters pertaining to the implementation of the provisions of this Convention. Following that, the Parties shall hold ordinary meetings at least once every two years. 2. The Parties may also hold extraordinary meetings when deemed necessary. These meetings shall be convened at the request of any Party, provided that such request is supported by a majority of the Parties. 3. At such meetings, the Parties shall, among other things: a. Evaluate compliance with the provisions of this Convention; b. Examine the reports and consider the recommendations of the Consultative Committee and the Scientific Committee, established pursuant to Articles VII and VIII, regarding the implementation of this Convention; c. Adopt such additional conservation and management measures as deemed 4

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appropriate to achieve the objective of this Convention. If the Parties consider it necessary, such measures may be included in an Annex to this Convention; d. Consider, and as necessary adopt, amendments to this Convention, in accordance with Article XXIV. e. Review reports of the Secretariat, if established, relating to its budget and activities. 4. At their first meeting, the Parties shall adopt rules of procedure for meetings of the Parties as well as for meetings of the Consultative Committee and the Scientific Committee, and shall consider other matters relating to those committees. 5. Decisions reached at meetings of the Parties shall be adopted by consensus. 6. The Parties may invite other interested States, relevant international organizations, as well as the private sector, scientific institutions and nongovernmental organizations with recognized expertise in matters pertaining to this Convention to attend their meetings as observers and to participate in activities under this Convention. ARTICLE VI SECRETARIAT 1. At their first meeting, the Parties shall consider the establishment of a Secretariat with the following functions: a. Providing assistance in convening and organizing the meetings specified in Article V; b. Receiving from the Parties the annual reports referred to in Article XI and placing them at the disposal of the other Parties and of the Consultative Committee and the Scientific Committee; c. Publishing and disseminating the recommendations and decisions adopted at the meetings of the Parties in accordance with rules of procedures adopted by the Parties; d. Disseminating and promoting the exchange of information and educational materials regarding efforts undertaken by the Parties to increase public awareness of the need to protect and conserve sea turtles and their habitats, while maintaining the economic profitability of diverse artisanal, commercial, and subsistence fishing operations, as well as the sustainable use of fisheries resources. This information shall concern, inter alia: i) environmental education and local community involvement; ii) the results of research related to the protection and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats and the socioeconomic and environmental effects of the measures adopted pursuant to this Convention; e. Seeking economic and technical resources to carry out research and to implement the measures adopted 5

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within the framework of this Convention; f. Performing such other functions as the Parties may assign. 2. When deciding in this regard, the Parties shall consider the possibility of appointing the Secretariat from among competent international organizations that are willing and able to perform the functions provided for in this Article. The Parties shall determine the means of financing necessary to carry out the functions of the Secretariat. ARTICLE VII CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE 1. At their first meeting, the Parties shall establish a Consultative Committee of Experts, hereinafter referred to as "the Consultative Committee", which shall be constituted as follows: a. Each Party may appoint one representative to the Consultative Committee, who may be accompanied at each meeting by advisors; b. The Parties shall also appoint, by consensus, three representatives with recognized expertise in matters pertaining to this Convention, from each of the following groups: i) the scientific community; ii) the private sector; and iii) nongovernmental organizations. 2. The functions of the Consultative Committee shall be to: a. Review and analyze the reports referred to in Article XI, and any other information relating to the protection and conservation of populations of sea turtles and their habitats; b. Solicit from any Party additional relevant information relating to the implementation of the measures set forth in this Convention or adopted pursuant thereto; c. Examine reports concerning the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impact on affected communities resulting from the measures set forth in this Convention or adopted pursuant thereto; d. Evaluate the efficiency of the different measures proposed to reduce the capture and incidental mortality of sea turtles, as well as the efficiency of different kinds of TEDs; e. Present a report to the Parties on its work, including, as appropriate, recommendations on the adoption of additional conservation and management measures to promote the objective of this Convention; f. Consider reports of the Scientific Committee; g. Perform such other functions as the Parties may assign. 3. The Consultative Committee shall meet at least once a year for the first three years after the entry into force of the Convention, and after that in accordance with decisions made by the Parties. 6

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4. The Parties may establish expert groups to advise the Consultative Committee. ARTICLE VIII SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE 1. At their first meeting, the Parties shall establish a Scientific Committee which shall be comprised of representatives designated by the Parties and which shall meet, preferably, prior to the meetings of the Consultative Committee. 2. The functions of the Scientific Committee shall be to: a. Examine and, as appropriate, conduct research on sea turtles covered by this Convention, including research on their biology and population dynamics; b. Evaluate the environmental impact on sea turtles and their habitats of activities such as fishing operations and the exploitation of marine resources, coastal development, dredging, pollution, clogging of estuaries and reef deterioration, among other things, as well as the potential impact of activities undertaken as a result of exceptions to the measures allowed in accordance with this Convention; c. Analyze relevant research conducted by the Parties; d. Formulate recommendations for the protection and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats; e. Make recommendations on scientific and technical matters at the request of any Party regarding specific matters related to this Convention; f. Perform such other scientific functions as the Parties may assign. ARTICLE IX MONITORING PROGRAMS 1. During the year following the entry into force of this Convention, each Party shall establish, within its territory and in maritime areas with respect to which it exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction, a program to ensure monitoring of the application of the measures to protect and conserve sea turtles and their habitats set forth in this Convention or adopted pursuant thereto. 2. The program referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include, where appropriate, mechanisms and arrangements for the participation by observers designated by each Party or by agreement among them in monitoring activities. 3. In implementing the program, each Party may act with the support or cooperation of other interested States and relevant international organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations. ARTICLE X COMPLIANCE Each Party shall ensure, within its territory and in maritime areas with respect to which it exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or 7

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jurisdiction, effective compliance with measures to protect and conserve sea turtles and their habitats set forth in this Convention or adopted pursuant thereto. ARTICLE XI ANNUAL REPORTS 1. Each Party shall prepare an annual report, in accordance with Annex IV, on the programs it has adopted to protect and conserve sea turtles and their habitats, as well as any program it may have adopted relating to the utilization of these species in accordance with Article IV(3). 2. Each Party shall provide, either directly or through the Secretariat, if established, its annual report to the other Parties and to the Consultative and Scientific Committees at least 30 days prior to the next ordinary meeting of the Parties and shall also make such annual reports available to other States or interested entities that so request. ARTICLE XII INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 1. The Parties shall promote bilateral and multilateral cooperative activities to further the objective of this Convention and, when they deem it appropriate, shall seek the support of relevant international organizations. 2. Such activities may include the training of advisors and educators; the exchange and training of technicians, sea turtle managers and researchers; the exchange of scientific information and educational materials; the development of on which the Parties may agree. 3. The Parties shall cooperate to develop and to facilitate access to information and training regarding the use and transfer of environmentally sustainable technologies, consistent with the objective of this Convention. They shall also develop endogenous scientific and technological capabilities. 4. The Parties shall promote international cooperation in the development and improvement of fishing gear and techniques, taking into account the specific conditions of each region, in order to maintain the productivity of commercial fisheries and to ensure the protection, conservation and recovery of sea turtle populations. 5. The cooperative activities shall include rendering assistance, including technical assistance, to Parties that are developing States, in order to assist them in complying with their obligations under this Convention. ARTICLE XIII FINANCIAL RESOURCES 1. At their first meeting, the Parties shall assess the need for and possibilities of obtaining financial resources, including the establishment of a special fund for purposes such as the following: a. Meeting the expenses that could be required for the potential establishment of the Secretariat, pursuant to Article VI; 8

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b. Assisting the Parties that are developing States in fulfilling their obligations under this Convention, including providing access to the technology deemed most appropriate. ARTICLE XIV COORDINATION The Parties shall seek to coordinate their activities under this Convention with relevant international organizations, whether global, regional or subregional. ARTICLE XV TRADE MEASURES 1. In implementing this Convention, the Parties shall act in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), as adopted at Marrakesh in 1994, including its annexes. 2. In particular, and with respect to the subject matter of this Convention, the Parties shall act in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade contained in Annex 1 of the WTO Agreement, as well as Article XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994. 3. The Parties shall endeavor to facilitate trade in fish and fishery products associated with this Convention, in accordance with their international obligations. ARTICLE XVI SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 1. Any Party may consult with one or more other Parties about any dispute related to the interpretation or application of the provisions of this Convention to reach a solution satisfactory to all parties to the dispute as quickly as possible. 2. If a dispute is not settled through such consultation within a reasonable period, the Parties in question shall consult among themselves as soon as possible in order to settle the dispute through any peaceful means they may decide upon in accordance with international law, including, where appropriate, those provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. ARTICLE XVII RIGHTS OF THE PARTIES 1. No provision of this Convention may be interpreted in such a way as to prejudice or undermine the sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction exercised by any Party in accordance with international law. 2. No provision of this Convention, nor measures or activities performed in its implementation, may be interpreted in such a way as to allow a Party to make a claim, or to exercise sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction in contravention of international law. ARTICLE XVIII IMPLEMENTATION AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL 9

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Each Party shall adopt measures in its respective national laws for implementation of the provisions of this Convention and to ensure effective compliance by means of policies, plans and programs for the protection and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats. ARTICLE XIX NON-PARTIES 1. The Parties shall encourage: a. any eligible State to become party to this Convention; b. any other State to become party to a complementary protocol as envisioned in Article XX. 2. The Parties shall also encourage all States not Party to this Convention to adopt laws and regulations consistent with the provisions of this Convention. ARTICLE XX COMPLEMENTARY PROTOCOLS In order to promote the protection and conservation of sea turtles outside the Convention Area where these species also exist, the Parties should negotiate with States that are not eligible to become party to this Convention a complementary protocol or protocols, consistent with the objective of this Convention, to which all interested States may become party. ARTICLE XXI SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION 1. This Convention shall be open for signature at Caracas, Venezuela, by States in the Americas from December 1, 1996, until December 31, 1998. 2. This Convention is subject to ratification by the Signatories in accordance with their domestic laws and procedures. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of Venezuela, which shall be the Depositary. ARTICLE XXII ENTRY INTO FORCE AND ACCESSION 1. This Convention shall enter into force ninety days after the date of deposit of the eighth instrument of ratification. 2. After the Convention has entered into force, it shall be open for accession by States in the Americas. This Convention shall enter into force for any such State on the date of its deposit of an instrument of accession with the Depositary. ARTICLE XXIII RESERVATIONS Signature and ratification of, or accession to, this Convention may not be made subject to any reservation. ARTICLE XXIV AMENDMENTS 1. Any Party may propose an amendment to this Convention by providing the Depositary the text of a 1 0

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proposed amendment at least 60 days in advance of the next meeting of the Parties. The Depositary shall promptly circulate any amendment proposed to all the Parties. 2. Amendments to this Convention, adopted in accordance with the provisions of Article V(5), shall enter into force when the Depositary has received instruments of ratification from all Parties. ARTICLE XXV WITHDRAWAL Any Party may withdraw from this Convention at any time after 12 months from the date on which this Convention entered into force with respect to that Party by giving written notice of withdrawal to the Depositary. The Depositary shall inform the other Parties of the withdrawal within 30 days of receipt of such notice. The withdrawal shall become effective six months after receipt of such notice. ARTICLE XXVI STATUS OF ANNEXES 1. The Annexes to this Convention are an integral part hereof. All references to this Convention shall be understood as including its Annexes. 2. Unless the Parties decide otherwise, the Annexes to this Convention may be amended, by consensus, at any meeting of the Parties. Unless otherwise agreed, amendments to an Annex shall enter into force for all Parties one year after adoption. ARTICLE XXVII AUTHENTIC TEXTS AND CERTIFIED COPIES 1. The English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish texts of this Convention are equally authentic. 2. The original texts of this Convention shall be deposited with the Government of Venezuela, which shall send certified copies thereof to the Signatory States and to the Parties hereto, and to the Secretary General of the United Nations for registration and publication, pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, having been duly authorized by their respective governments, have signed this Convention. DONE AT CARACAS, VENEZUELA, on this first day of December, 1996. ____________________________________________ 11

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ANNEX I SEA TURTLES* 1. Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758) Tortuga caguama, cabezuda, cahuama Loggerhead turtle Tortue caouanne Cabeuda, mestia. 2. Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758), including populations of this species in the Eastern or American Pacific alternatively classified by specialists as Chelonia mydas agassizii (Carr, 1952), or as Chelonia agassizii (Bocourt, 1868). Tortuga blanca, aruana, verde Green sea turtle Tortue verte Tartaruga verde Soepschildpad, krap Common alternate names in the Eastern Pacific: Tortuga prieta East Pacific green turtle, black turtle Tortue verte du Pacifique est. 3. Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761) Tortuga lad, gigante, de cuero Leatherback turtle Tortue luth Tartaruga gigante, de couro Lederschildpad, aitkanti. 4. Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766) Tortuga de carey Hawksbill sea turtle Tortue caret Tartaruga de pente Kart. 5. Lepidochelys kempii (Garman, 1880) Tortuga lora Kemp's ridley turtle Tortue de Kemp. 6. Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829) Tortuga golfina Olive ridley turtle Tortue olivtre Tartaruga oliva Warana Due to the wide variety of common names, even within the same State, this list should not be considered exhaustive. ANNEX II PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF SEA TURTLE HABITATS Each Party shall consider and may adopt, as necessary and in accordance with its laws, regulations, policies, plans and programs, measures to protect and conserve sea turtle habitats within its territory and in maritime areas with respect to which it exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction, such as: 1. Requiring assessments of the environmental impact of marine and coastal development activities that may affect sea turtle habitats, including: 1 2

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dredging of canals and estuaries; construction of sea walls, piers and marinas; extraction of raw materials; operation of aquaculture facilities; siting of industrial facilities; use of reefs; deposit of dredged materials and trash; and other related activities; 2. Managing and, when necessary, regulating the use of beaches and coastal dunes with respect to the location and design of buildings, the use of artificial lighting and the transit of vehicles in nesting areas; 3. Establishing protected areas and taking other measures to regulate the use of areas where sea turtles nest or regularly occur, including permanent or temporary closures, modification of fishing gear, and, to the greatest extent practicable, restrictions on vessel traffic. ANNEX III USE OF TURTLE EXCLUDER DEVICES 1. "Shrimp trawl vessel" means any vessel used to catch shrimp species with trawl nets. 2. "Turtle Excluder Device" or "TED" means a device designed to increase the selectivity of shrimp trawl nets in order to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in shrimp fishing operations. 3. Each Party shall require shrimp trawl vessels subject to its jurisdiction that operate within the Convention Area to use recommended TEDs that are properly installed and functional. 4. Each Party, in accordance with the best available scientific evidence, may allow exceptions to use of TEDs as required in Paragraph 3 only in the following circumstances: a. For shrimp trawl vessels whose nets are retrieved exclusively by manual rather than mechanical means, and shrimp vessels with trawl nets for which no TEDs have been developed. A Party allowing such exception shall adopt other measures to reduce the incidental mortality of sea turtles that are equally effective and that do not undermine efforts to achieve the objective of this Convention, such as limits on tow times, closed seasons and closed fishing areas where sea turtles occur. b. For shrimp trawl vessels: i) exclusively using other trawl gear that has been demonstrated not to pose a risk of incidental mortality of sea turtles; or ii) operating under conditions where there is no likelihood of interaction with sea turtles; provided that the Party allowing such exception provides to the other Parties, either directly or through the Secretariat, if established, documented scientific evidence demonstrating the lack of such risk or likelihood; c. For shrimp trawl vessels conducting scientific research under a program approved by the Party; 13

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d. Where the presence of algae, seaweed, debris, or other special conditions, temporary or permanent, make the use of TEDs impracticable in a specific area, provided that: i) a Party allowing this exception shall adopt other measures to protect sea turtles in the area in question, such as limits on tow times; ii) only in extraordinary emergency situations of a temporary nature may a Party allow this exception to apply to more than a small number of the vessels subject to its jurisdiction that would otherwise be required to use TEDs pursuant to this Annex; iii) a Party allowing this exception shall provide to the other Parties, either directly or through the Secretariat, if established, information concerning the special conditions and the number of shrimp trawl vessels operating in the area in question. 5. Any Party may comment upon information provided by any other Party pursuant to Paragraph 4. Where appropriate, the Parties shall seek guidance from the Consultative Committee and the Scientific Committee to resolve differences of view. If the Consultative Committee so recommends, and the Parties agree, a Party that has allowed an exception pursuant to Paragraph 4 shall reconsider the allowance or extent of such an exception. 6. The Parties may, by consensus, approve other exceptions to the use of TEDs as required in Paragraph 3, in accordance with the best available scientific evidence and based on recommendations of the Consultative Committee and the Scientific Committee, to account for circumstances warranting special consideration, provided that such exceptions do not undermine efforts to achieve the objective of this Convention. 7. For the purposes of this Convention: a. Recommended TEDs shall be those TEDs determined by the Parties, with advice from the Consultative Committee, to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in shrimp trawl fishing operations to the greatest extent practicable; b. At their first meeting, the Parties shall develop an initial list of recommended TEDs, which they may modify at subsequent meetings; c. Until the first meeting of the Parties, each Party shall determine, in accordance with its laws and regulations, which TEDs to require for use by shrimp trawl vessels subject to its jurisdiction in order to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in shrimp trawl fishing operations to the greatest extent practicable, based on consultations with other Parties. 8. At the request of any other Party or of the Consultative Committee or the Scientific Committee, each Party shall provide, either directly or through the Secretariat, if established, scientific information relevant to the 1 4

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achievement of the objective of this Convention. ANNEX IV ANNUAL REPORTS The annual reports referred to in Article XI(1) shall include the following: a. A general description of the program to protect and conserve sea turtles and their habitats, including any laws or regulations adopted to achieve the objective of this Convention; b. Any pertinent new laws or regulations adopted during the preceding year; c. A summary of actions taken, and the results thereof, to implement measures for the protection and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats, such as: operation of turtle camps; improvement and development of new fishing gear to reduce incidental sea turtle capture and mortality; scientific research, including marking, migration, and repopulation studies; environmental education; programs to establish and manage protected areas; cooperative activities with other Parties; and any other activities designed to achieve the objective of this Convention; d. A summary of the actions taken to enforce its laws and regulations, including penalties imposed for violations; e. A detailed description of any exceptions allowed, in accordance with this Convention, during the preceding year, including monitoring and mitigation measures related to these exceptions, and, in particular, any relevant information on the number of turtles, nests, and eggs, as well as sea turtle habitats, affected by the allowance of these exceptions; f. Any other information the Party may deem relevant. ____________________________________________ 15


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