EU’s Damanaki calls for high seas biodiversity protection treaty

Date: April 15, 2013


An updated U.N. treaty governing the exploitation of deep-sea bioresources is urgently needed, EU Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki says.

Damanaki, speaking Thursday at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Paris, called for “decisive action” to “move forward” on a revision of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea — which governs the high seas beyond national jurisdictions — to include the protection of marine biodiversity.

Her call came as private companies and scientific teams are stepping up “bioprospecting” in deep-sea areas, seeking sometimes rare marine organisms whose molecular compounds and unique properties can be used in anti-cancer pharmaceuticals, food and other potentially lucrative commercial fields.


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