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The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and living modified fish

Kathryn Garforth, Manoela Miranda
Biological invasions 2014 v.16 no.6 pp. 1313-1323
biodiversity, biosafety, fish, genetically modified organisms, invasive species, packaging, risk assessment
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international treaty under the Convention on Biological Diversity that promotes biosafety by establishing practical rules and procedures for the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs), with a specific focus on regulating transboundary movements of these organisms from one country to another. The Protocol includes the advance informed agreement procedure which sets rules on how Parties should take decisions regarding the transboundary movement of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment, including living modified fish for biocontrol of non-native and invasive species. The advance informed agreement procedure places great emphasis on risk assessment and the Protocol includes an annex with general principles, methodological steps and points to consider when conducting a risk assessment. In recent years, the Parties to the Protocol have begun to develop guidance on risk assessment for specific types of LMOs although they have not, to date, specifically addressed living modified fish. Other relevant aspects of the Protocol include its provisions on unintentional and illegal transboundary movements; the handling, transport, packaging and identification of LMOs; and liability and redress.