9 June 2017
In respect of the UN Oceans Conference, the DSCC is calling on high seas fishing nations to fully and effectively protect deep-sea ecosystems from ‘significant adverse impacts’ of deep-sea fisheries, including through prohibiting bottom trawling on seamounts, as they have committed to do by implementing UNGA resolutions adopted since 2006. This would be a significant contribution to meeting SDG 14.2 and its target date of 2020 to protect marine ecosystems from significant adverse impacts, strengthen their resilience, and achieve healthy and productive oceans.
In 2016, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) ‘noted with concern’ in resolution 71/123 (paragraph 179) that its resolutions committing States to protect deep-sea ecosystems from the harmful impacts of deep-sea fisheries were not fully implemented and “emphasized the need for full implementation by all States and relevant regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements of their commitments” (paragraph 174). The UNGA decided to review, in 2020, the actions taken by high seas fishing nations and regional fisheries management organizations to fully implement the resolutions in part because of the SDG 14.2 target date of 2020 – there is a clear link between the implementation of the UNGA resolutions on deep fisheries as an important contribution to the implementation of SDG 14.2.