New Zealand Embassy Paris, France
As original signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, Antarctic Claimant States, and Southern Ocean coastal states, France and New Zealand share many common interests and perspectives on Antarctic matters. Over the years New Zealand has developed a good working relationship with the French on these issues, culminating in the formalisation of this relationship in 1994 by a bilateral Agreement on Antarctic Cooperation. The Agreement, which focuses on scientific collaboration, has facilitated French contributions to projects initiated by the Christchurch-based International Centre for Antarctic Information and Research (ICAIR). These have included Antarctic Treaty-related issues such as the development of an Antarctic Tourism database and the establishment of an Antarctic Master Directory.
Cooperation with France on Antarctic issues has now extended to the problem of illegal and unregulated toothfish fishing in the Southern Ocean. The French Indian Ocean islands of Kerguelen and Le Crozet have been particularly hard hit by illegal fishing. France and New Zealand, along with other interested parties, have agreed to exchange compliance information and to work to curb this growing threat to the sustainable management of fisheries in the Southern Ocean.