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You are here: Home / Laws and Regulations / International Laws and Regulations / Codes of Conduct and Guidelines  Printable version
Laws and Regulations
  
International Laws and Regulations

Codes of Conduct and Guidelines

Code/Guideline:

AFS (American Fisheries Society) Guidelines for Introduction of Threatened and Endangered Fishes (PDF | 36 KB) / Other Policy Statements

Targeted
Entities:

Practitioners of introduction

Date in Effect:

N/A

Organisms:

Threatened and endangered fish

Pathways:

Intentional introductions

Relevance:

Recognition that introduction of threatened fish can alter biodiversity and survival of other organisms

"Restrict introductions to within the native or historic habitat whenever possible"

"Prohibit introductions into areas where the endangered or threatened fish could hybridize with other species or subspecies"

"Prohibit introductions into areas where other rare or endemic taxa could be adversely affected"

"Examine introduction stock for presence of undesirable pathogens"

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Code/Guideline:

Alien Species: Guiding Principles for the Prevention, Introduction and Mitigation of Impacts (PDF | 123 KB)

Targeted
Entities:

National governments

Date in Effect:

Feb 2000

Organisms:

Non-indigenous plant and animal species

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

  • Import
  • Ballast water

Relevance:

15 Guiding Principles pertaining to invasive species:
Precautionary approach, Three-stage hierarchical approach, Ecosystem approach, State Responsibility, Research and Monitoring, Education and Public Awareness, Border Control and Quarantine Measures, Exchange of Information, Cooperation and Capacity-building, Intentional Introduction, Unintentional Introductions, Mitigation of Impacts, Eradication, Containment, and Control

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Code/Guideline:

FAO Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of Exotic Biological Control Agents

Targeted
Entities:

Public and private entities importing, exporting or using biological pest controls

Date in Effect:

1995

Organisms:

Biological control agents

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

Relevance:

The code is meant to:

  • encourage responsible and generally accepted trade practices,
  • assist countries to design regulations to control the suitability and quality of imported exotic biological control agents and to address the safe handling, assessment and use of such products,
  • promote the safe use of biological control agents for the improvement of agriculture, and human, animal and plant health,
  • allow all those involved in the import or release of exotic biological control agents to determine if, in the context of the International Plant Protection Convention and other relevant conventions and legislation, their proposed actions and the actions of others constitute acceptable practices.
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Code/Guideline:

FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries

Targeted
Entities:

National governments; fishing entities; sub-regional, regional and global organizations; and "all persons concerned with the conservation of fishery resources"

Date in Effect:

Oct 31, 1995

Organisms:

Fish

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

Capture and trade of fish and fishery products

Relevance:

Art. 9.2.3: 'States should consult with their neighboring States, as appropriate, before introducing non-indigenous species into transboundary aquatic ecosystems."

Art. 9.3.1: "Efforts should be undertaken to minimize the harmful effects of introducing non-native species or genetically altered stocks… into waters, especially where there is a significant potential for the spread of such non-native species or genetically altered stocks into waters under the jurisdiction of other States as well as waters under the jurisdiction of the State of origin. States should, whenever possible, promote steps to minimize adverse genetic, disease and other effects of escaped farmed fish on wild stocks."

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Code/Guideline:

FAO International Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collecting and Transfer

Targeted
Entities:

National governments; collectors, donors, and sponsors of the collection of germplasm

Date in Effect:

Nov 1993

Organisms:

Plant germplasm

Pathways:

Intentional introduction

Relevance:

N/A

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Code/Guideline:

IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships' ballast water to minimize the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens

Targeted
Entities:

Member states of the IMO: can apply to all ships

Date in Effect:

Nov 27, 1997

Organisms:

Harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens

Pathways:

Ballast water

Relevance:

1.1: Recognition of ballast water as the "most prominent" media of transferring invasive species

7.1.1: "Every ship that carries ballast water should be provided with a ballast water management plan to assist in the minimization of transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens."

8.2.2: "Port States should inform local agents and/or the ship of areas and situations where the uptake of ballast water should be minimized, such as: areas with outbreaks, infestations or know populations of harmful organisms and pathogens…"

9.1.1: "When loading ballast, every effort should be made to avoid the uptake of ptentially harmful aquatic organisms, pathogens and sediment that may contain such organisms."

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Code/Guideline:

IUCN Guidelines for the Prevention of Biodiversity Loss Csaused by Alien Invasive Species (PDF | 85 KB)

Targeted
Entities:

National governments and management agencies

Date in Effect:

Feb 2000

Organisms:

Non-indigenous plant and animal species that threaten biodiversity

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

  • Trade
  • Tourism
  • Ballast water

Relevance:

Guidelines to give effect to Article 8 (h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity: "Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species."

Meant to increase awareness and understanding of the impact of alien species

Provides guidelines for: prevention, eradication, control and reintroduction

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Code/Guideline:

IUCN Position Statement on Translocation of Living Organisms: Introductions, Reintroductions, and Re-stocking (PDF | 474 KB)

Targeted
Entities:

National governments

Date in Effect:

Sep 4, 1987

Organisms:

Plant and animal non-native species

Pathways:

Unintentional introductions: use of live fish bait, tourist transfer, cross-regional civil engineering projects

Intentional introductions: release of captive-bred or newly-domesticated organisms, trade in alien species, reintroductions, re-stocking

Relevance:

Statement

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Code/Guideline:

IUCN/SSC Guidelines for Re-Introductions (PDF | 35 KB)

Targeted
Entities:

Practitioners of species re-introductions (managers, scientists, etc.)

Date in Effect:

May 1995

Organisms:

Endangered plant and animal taxa

Pathways:

Intentional introduction of captive-bred individuals

Measures taken to prevent unintentional introduction of alien pathogens

Relevance:

Meant to allow for introduction of endangered species; mentions non-indigenous species as a threat to re-introduction, but also recognizes potential dangers of re-introduction itself

Evaluation of re-introduction site (allows and calls for elimination of specific non-indigenous species):

4a (iv): "Identification and elimination…of previous causes of decline: could include disease; … competition with or predation by introduced species"

Unintentional introduction of pathogens
4a (v): "Any animals found to be infected or which test positive for non-endemic or contagious pathogens with a potential impact on population levels, must be removed from the consignment"

Recognition of transboundary migration
4 (b): "In the case of migratory/mobile species, provisions should be made for crossing of international/state boundaries"

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Code/Guideline:

North American Fisheries Policy (PDF | 75 KB)

Targeted
Entities:

Fishery administrators; federal, tribal, state, and provincial managers

Date in Effect:

1939 (Amended 1955, 1965, 1970, 1973)
Current revision approved Aug 1995

Organisms:

Non-indigenous fish and other exotic aquatic species

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

Relevance:

Article V: "Aquaculture must work closely with federal, state, and provincial regulators to control epizootic disease outbreaks, to prevent the release of exotic species into the wild… Where possible, federal, state, and provincial managers will encourage the aquaculture industry to use indigenous species in its facilities."

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Code/Guideline:

UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology

Targeted
Entities:

National governments

Date in Effect:

1995

Organisms:

Living modified organisms

Pathways:

Intentional introduction

Relevance:

Used as interim mechanism during the development of the Biosafety Protocol; now used for "purposes of facilitating the development of national capacities to assess and manage risks, establish adequate information systems and develop expert human resources in biotechnology."

Paragraph 26: "there is a need for the exchange and supply of scientific information in cases where organisms with novel traits are intended to be released into new environments and when transfer of such organisms is being considered"

Paragraph 42: "The potentially affected country should be given notice of the intended use and the opportunity to state whether particular measures will be needed to protect its interests, in particular its biodiversity; (and) should be informed immediately in the event of an adverse effect of the use of a organism with novel traits which could affect it"

Annex 3: potentially relevant information for introductions

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Code/Guideline:

U.S. Coast Guard Voluntary Guidelines for Recreational Activities to Control the Spread of Zebra Mussels and Other Aquatic Nuisance Species (PDF | 146 KB)

Targeted
Entities:

Recreational users of aquatic resources (divers, boaters, anglers, hunters)

Date in Effect:

Jan 29, 2001

Organisms:

Plant and animal aquatic nuisance species
Mentioned specifically:

Zebra mussel, purple loosestrife, sea lamprey, water hyacinth, Chinese carp, hydrilla, Eurasian water milfoil, Asian swamp eel

Pathways:

Intentional release

Unintentional introduction: Boats, boat anchors, diving equipment, seaplanes, live bait

Relevance:

Precautionary techniques for safe removal of aquatic nuisance species from equipment to prevent translocation

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Last Modified: May 10, 2014
 
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