In recent decades, the share of the developed countries in the fishing activity has declined while share of the developing countries has increased. Explain.

Apart from demographic reasons {such as aging populations in developed countries), the major reason has been the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Earlier, all countries had an equal right to fishing in all oceans and seas outside the territorial waters of individual countries. The UNCLOS, drafted in Third United Nations Law of the Sea Conference, 1982 provided a forum in which the coastal states arrived at a consensus on fishing rights in seas and oceans. The concepts of territorial sea limits up to 12 nautical miles, a 24 nautical mile contiguous zone and a 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ) were adopted.

Due to development and adoption of these concepts, many nationalised fishing grounds developed in developing coastal countries which could now exercise monopoly over these grounds.  As a result of this change the share of the developed countries in the fishing activity has declined and the share of the developing countries has increased. According to the UNCLOS, the coastal states can manage fisheries to ensure optimum yields within the 200 nautical miles EEZ. The domestic fishermen have the first claim on the fish in this zone. Foreigners can be allowed to catch fish in this zone only if there is any surplus.

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