Negotiations in New York to agree a High Seas Treaty to protect the ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) have come to an end with more negotiations needed to finalize the Treaty.
Effective protection of our ocean will be increasingly hard to achieve without urgent action on the high seas which comprise 50% of the surface area of our planet and over 90% of the space for life. Every delay jeopardizes the ocean’s ability to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but progress can still be made if a Treaty is landed this year.
Delegates have worked hard and progress has been made. It is essential that States finalize a global framework to protect the high seas expeditiously so that we can progress to Treaty ratification and implementation. States must ensure that ambitious action is taken that will address all issues relating to marine biodiversity in ABNJ, including deep-sea mining and bottom trawling.Duncan Currie, Legal Advisor for the DSCC
In order to halt and reverse the decline of ocean health, States must take action on the floor of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and call for a moratorium or ‘precautionary pause’ on deep-sea mining to ensure that we protect the blue heart of our planet from top to bottom.Emma Wilson, the DSCC’s Advocacy Officer
The DSCC also urges the few flag states that still allow their vessels to bottom trawl on seamounts to agree to phase out the practice in ABNJ and that all states concerned with the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ participate in the UN General Assembly’s review of deep sea fisheries in November.
Civil society, scientists and youth groups have urged that the High Seas Treaty be finalized, ratified and implemented as soon as possible to catalyze global efforts to restore and revive our ocean.