Deep Sea Conservation Coalition calls for full and frank debate at the UN on the “unfinished business” of implementing commitments on deep-sea bottom fishing in the high seas

Date: September 1, 2011

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. 

On 15-16 September, the UNGA is holding the first ever open workshop to review the actions taken by States and RFMOs to protect deep-sea ecosystems and sustainably manage deep-sea fisheries.  A full and frank debate must take place regarding what can be done to ensure effective implementation of the UNGA resolutions, and the conservation and protection of deep-sea species and ecosystems, consistent with international law.

The DSCC will host an event at lunch time on September 15th.  Matthew Gianni from the DSCC will present the results of the new report, “Unfinished Business: a review of the implementation of UNGA resolutions 61/105 and 64/72”.  Phil Weaver, from the EU’s HERMIONE project[1] and the National Oceanography Centre of Southampton will present the results of a Scientists’ Workshop held in May 2011 to review the implementation of the relevant UNGA resolutions.   And Elliott Norse from the Marine Conservation Institute will present a new analysis in the journal Marine Policy on the sustainability of deep-sea fisheries”.

An open discussion will follow, involving some of the world’s leading experts on the deep sea, including panelists from Oxford University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Connecticut, and representatives of DSCC member organizations.