Fishing slammed over ocean decline

03 Oct 2013
A recommendation was made in the report to end IUU fishing

A recommendation was made in the report to end IUU fishing

The fishing sector has been slammed by the Global Ocean Commission for its part played in the ecological decline in the ocean, which it says is threatening economies, societies and nature.

A new scientific analysis carried out by marine scientists with International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), looked at the combined impact of factors such as destructive fishing, pollution and climate change.

The analysis revealed that overfishing is “depleting economically important species and altering marine food webs, threatening food security”.

Climate change and ocean acidification were also revealed as contributing factors.

“We are already looking closely at the governance framework for the high seas, because it’s simply untenable to have almost half of the world’s surface governed so ineffectually as to permit the impacts that IPSO has documented,” said David Miliband, CEO, International Rescue Committee.

“However, we also need to look at measures that could be implemented in the short term, for example to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, protect the most important ecosystems, and make sure ocean concerns are reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that governments are now considering,” he added.

A number of recommendations were made in the report including banning destructive fishing, such as bottom trawling, and to promote community-run fisheries, where fishers have a material interest in conserving stocks and habitats.

Back in July, the commission recommended that all high seas vessels should be required to carry IMO numbers and tracking equipment to ensure compliance with fisheries regulation and security and safety at sea.

The Commission is currently running an online survey for input to its policy development process.  

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