DSCC calls for effective implementation of UN resolutions to protect the deep-sea and new initiatives for high seas biodiversity conservation at Global Oceans Conference 2010

Date: May 7, 2010

The DSCC spoke during the Plenary Session entitled Improving Governance of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Development of Management Options during the final day of the Fifth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France 3-7 May 2010.

DSCC Political and Policy Advisor Matthew Gianni called for full and effective implementation of UN General Assembly resolutions 61/105 and 64/72 to protect deep-sea biodiversity from the harmful impacts of fishing and for further initiatives to strengthen high seas governance and the conservation of biodiversity citing the need to require environmental impact assessments for all activities with a potential impact on high seas biodiversity and an institutional framework or frameworks for establishing marine protected areas on the high seas. He reaffirmed the view of the DSCC that effective implementation of the UN resolutions on deep-sea fisheries was a test case for high seas fishing nations in terms of their commitment to global cooperation in the protection of biodiversity on the high seas and the implementation of international law. He noted that the European Union is reviewing its management regime for deep-sea fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic this year and this provides a clear opportunity and for both France, with the largest share of the deep-sea fisheries quota in the Northeast Atlantic, and the EU to firmly deliver on their UN commitments.

Earlier in the week, the DSCC hosted a session at the conference entitled International Initiatives to Protect Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Developments in Science and a Civil Society Perspective from the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition. The session was moderated by Lisa Speer of the Natural Resources Defense Council and included the following speakers and topics:

Claire Nouvian (Bloom Association, France) – “The vulnerability of the deep sea and the International Year of Biodiversity: a French perspective?”

David Billet (European Union’s Hermione Project, UK) – “Human Impact on the Seabed: Recent results from the EU funded Hermes and Hermione Projects.”

Jose Angel Alvarez Perez (Universidade do Vale do Itajai, Brazil) – “Deep sea fisheries: the Brazilian and Latin America experience.”

Duncan Currie (Globelaw, New Zealand) – “The new South Pacific regional fisheries management agreement: a model for conservation on the high seas?”

Matthew Gianni (Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Netherlands) – “The implementation of the UN General Assembly resolutions to protect the deep-sea: implications for global initiatives for high seas biodiversity conservation.”