G77 to Discuss Deep Ocean Crisis

Date: September 26, 2007

On October 3, 2007 Pakistan, current Chair of the G77 group of Developing countries will facilitate a special briefing to the G77 Forum at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. With the start of the annual negotiations at the UN on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, the focus of the briefing will be on the state of the world’s oceans and implications for developing countries.

Comprised of 130 developing nations, the Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing States at the UN. The briefing has been organised with the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) and Greenpeace. Participants will hear from Dr Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of York and author of ‘The Unnatural History of the Sea’; Dr Ussif Rashid Sumaila, Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Colombia Fisheries Centre and Karen Sack, Head of Oceans for DSCC member Greenpeace. The briefing will consider the alarming state of marine ecosystems and the impact this has and will have on the future of those dependent on the oceans for their livelihood and food security.

The Briefing will particularly examine the impact of overfishing and how distant water fleets are increasingly scouring the global South for even scarcer stocks. Exploring the solutions necessary to address the marine crisis, the panelists will examine Marine Protected Areas and No-Take Reserves as a means of protecting biodiversity, ocean health and the local communities dependent upon them. Karen Sack of Greenpeace said, “Having emptied their own waters to meet Northern consumers’ growing hunger for ever-decreasing supplies of fish, plundering fishing fleets have been sent South to repeat the same mistakes.

The collapse of fish stocks in the North tells us all we need to know about the consequences for the marine life and food security of developing countries if this pattern is repeated in their own waters. If we want fish tomorrow then the G77 needs to act today to establish a global network of marine reserves and ensure the remaining waters are well-managed.”

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