Our Current Focus
The DSCC remains focused on achieving two overarching goals:
- to substantially reduce the greatest threats to life in the deep seas; and
- to safeguard the long-term health, integrity, and resilience of deep-sea ecosystems.
Our objective is to protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems and conserve deep-sea species, recognizing important precedents set for wider ocean conservation.
Toward these ends, the DSCC's work consists of:
- Regional and national implementation of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) bottom fishing resolutions. The DSCC continues to actively engage regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and other relevant bodies and processes to promote the adoption of legally binding regulations to implement the UNGA resolutions for deep-sea fisheries on the high seas of the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern oceans.
- New European Union deep-sea fisheries legislation. The DSCC has actively campaigned for the adoption of strong legislation by the European Parliament and Council of Fisheries Ministers to regulate deep-sea fishing within EU waters and on the high seas of the Northeast Atlantic.
- International Seabed Authority. The DSCC is active at the negotiating table on deep-seabed mining to ensure that the International Seabed Authority puts in place an adequate framework of precautionary measures - including no-mining areas, comprehensive systems of protected areas, and the application of the best available science and management practices - to protect the deep-sea environment from the potential ravages of deep-seabed mining.
- The UNGA 2016 review of implementation of Resolutions 59/25 (2004), 61/105 (2006) 64/72 (2009), 66/68 (2011). The DSCC will provide an independent global assessment of progress and work with key governments to ensure a rigorous UN review and the necessary outcomes. It will continue to call for a halt to deep-sea fishing on the high seas until the required conservation measures are in effect and implemented, and propose further steps as necessary, in order to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems and deep-sea species. Toward these ends, the DSCC will raise public awareness and support for protecting high seas biodiversity and collaborate with scientists to bring robust and best available scientific information into the UNGA negotiations. It will seek to improve UN oversight of countries' commitments to protect biodiversity on the high seas from the harmful impacts of deep-sea fisheries - and in so doing set an important precedent for future UN oversight of other high seas activities.