Resolution VI.2: Adoption of specific criteria based on fish for identifying Wetlands of International Importance

6th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Brisbane, Australia
19-27 March 1996

1. RECALLING that Recommendation 5.9 instructed the Convention Bureau, in cooperation with experts from Contracting Parties, partner organizations, and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), to formulate proposals on criteria to be used when identifying wetlands of international importance as fish habitat or as a nursery for fisheries, and to develop guidelines for application of such criteria;

2. NOTING WITH GRATITUDE the extensive work on this issue carried out by the STRP and other experts, which has led to the formulation of criteria and guidelines on wetlands of international importance as fish habitats;

3. EMPHASIZING the importance for the scope of the Convention of the increased recognition of the importance of wetlands as fish habitats; and

4. RECOGNIZING that in many instances commercial fisheries are regulated by statutes whose objectives are compatible with the sustainable exploitation of fishing resources with due regard for the aquatic environment;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

5. ADOPTS the specific criteria based on fish, and guidelines for their application, appended as an Annex to the present resolution, and includes them as an integral part of the criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance adopted by Recommendation 4.2;

6. EMPHASIZES the need for STRP to continue its work on refining these guidelines on the application of these new criteria in the context of Resolution VI.3; and

7. CALLS ON the Contracting Parties to use these criteria and guidelines to identify sites for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, and to designate sites so identified.

Annex to Resolution VI.2

SPECIFIC CRITERIA BASED ON FISH FOR IDENTIFICATION OF WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE, AND GUIDELINES FOR THEIR APPLICATION

Criterion 7: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity.

Criterion 8: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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