Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


University of Wollongong. Faculty of Law


The progressive development of international legal and normative framework for responsible fisheries in the aftermath of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) has been epitomized through the introduction of a series of binding and non-binding global fisheries instruments. These post-LOSC instruments include the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and the four non-binding International Plans of Actions (IPOAs). They provide the principles, measures, and standards for responsible fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The adoption and elaboration of these instruments attest to the urgency and strong political commitment of the global community to improve and strengthen the international management and conservation framework for marine capture fisheries.This progress was motivated to address the issues and problems affecting marine fisheries worldwide, as well as the inadequacies of the LOSC. Some of the principles incorporated in the post-LOSC instruments, such as precautionary approach to fisheries and ecosystem approach to fisheries, signify a departure from the traditional species centric management approach espoused by the LOSC.

In the context of Malaysian fisheries management, international fisheries instruments have provided useful guidelines for the country in establishing or improving its domestic legal, policy, and institutional framework to promote responsible fishing in its EEZ. Guided by its rights and obligations granted by the LOSC and other global fisheries instruments, Malaysia has adopted stringent conservation and management measures for offshore fisheries. However, despite of having this framework in place, Malaysia continues to confront various challenges that undermine its efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries in the offshore areas. Serious depletion of fish stocks and degradation of marine environment, compounded by a high incidence of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), are major concern to Malaysia. A key factor to these problems lies on Malaysia’s failure to fully implement internationally agreed obligations and standards for responsible offshore fisheries.Therefore, to ensure that fishing practices are conducted in responsible manner in the Malaysian EEZ, it is imperative for the country to fully adopt and apply the principles and measures espoused under international fisheries instruments.

This thesis presents an analysis of Malaysian laws, policies, and measures implement the international legal and normative framework for responsible fisheries. The objectives of this thesis are threefold. Firstly, this thesis identifies and analyzes principles and their measures established in binding and non-binding global instruments for responsible fisheries in the EEZ. Secondly, the thesis examines the extent to which Malaysia has adopted these principles and measures in its domestic legal system. It further highlights gaps in the national legal and policy framework for responsible offshore fisheries. Finally, the thesis provides recommendations of policy and legal reforms necessary to address the identified gaps in the national framework.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.