The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted resolution 61/105 in 2006 committing States and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to implement a series of measures to manage deep-sea fisheries in areas beyond national jurisdiction no later than 31 December 2008, or else not authorize such fishing to proceed. In 2009, resolution 64/72 made the requirements even more explicit. It is now 2011, and a recent review conducted by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) makes it clear that most high seas fishing States are falling far short of these international commitments.
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
(Translated from Spanish)
In response to your letter, I would like to inform you that on 4 April Spain presented to civil society the results of a commitment which we adopted in 2005 aimed at protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems, taking into account sustainability and biodiversity. In 2005, Spain decided to identify and locate VMEs in areas where the Spanish fleet was operating in order to protect deep-sea fisheries as a socio-economic activity without harming VMEs. This commitment entailed both the involvement of a large number of scientists, mainly coming from the Spanish Oceanographic Institute, and a great economic investment every year.
A United Nations (UN) meeting on oceans biodiversity will today hear how poorly high seas fishing nations have performed in implementing their commitments to ground breaking resolutions adopted in 2006 and 2009, designed to protect biodiversity in the deep sea.
The Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) hosted an event on 4 April in Madrid. Scientists presented the results of the several years of research by the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO) to identify vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. The meeting was opened by Minister Rosa Aguilar. MARM is the Ministry within which the General Secretariat of the Sea (Secretaria General del Mar), which is responsible for fisheries, is housed.
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition today released a report at the United Nations which describes major shortcomings in the implementation of UN General Assembly resolutions designed to protect the deep-ocean from the destructive impact of fishing. Lead author of the report, Dr Alex Rogers of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), said that “RFMOs are failing to manage deep-sea bottom fisheries on the high seas sustainably with respect to target and by-catch species. For most fisheries there is little or no information on the status of stocks and in many cases we do not even know what is being caught where.”
The Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, was held in New York from 24-28 May 2010
Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks New York, 24-28 May 2010
Members of the DSCC attending the ad hoc informal working group on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, which opened at the United Nations yesterday (1st February 2010), made the following intervention:
4 December 2009 The UN General Assembly will today (4th December) call upon all high seas fishing nations to intensify their efforts to protect vulnerable deep-sea life in the international waters of the world’s oceans. Gathered for the annual Oceans and Law of the Sea debate, the General Assembly will adopt a resolution which requires high seas fishing nations to conduct impact assessments to determine the potential impacts of deep-sea bottom fishing on the seabed and adopt and implement regulations to prevent damage to vulnerable deep ocean habitats before they permit, or authorize, their fishing fleets to engage in deep-sea fishing on the high seas.
Responding to the preliminary findings of a new scientific report published today (November 9th), which describes a systematic failure by fisheries managers in the North Atlantic to protect the deep oceans, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) has said it’s time to halt unregulated deep sea bottom fishing .