HAMBURG, 27 August. Today, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued its Order in the Requests for the prescription of provisional measures in the Southern Bluefin Tuna Cases (New Zealand and Australia v. Japan). The Tribunal noted that there is no disagreement between the parties that the stock of Southern Bluefin Tuna is severely depleted. It considered that there is scientific uncertainty regarding measures to be taken to conserve the stock. The Tribunal also considered that in the circumstances the parties should act with prudence and caution to ensure that effective conservation measures are taken to prevent serious harm to the stock of Southern Bluefin Tuna. The Tribunal ordered inter alia that the parties should resume negotiations without delay with a view to reaching agreement on measures for the conservation and management of Southern Bluefin Tuna and that the parties should restrict their catches. The Order was read in open court by the President of the Tribunal, Judge Thomas A. Mensah.