- PETERSBURG, Russia (Sept. 21, 2012)—Ignoring new scientific evidence about the extent of fragile coral systems within their waters and a range of international commitments, the 34th annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) closed today without adopting any significant deep sea safeguards.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
Author: Jack Watling
Source: The Guardian
Observers monitoring European fish quotas are being regularly intimidated, offered bribes and undermined by the fishing crews they are observing, a Guardian investigation has discovered.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Sept. 23, 2011)—The 33rd annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) ended today with countries failing to agree on significant, additional measures to safeguard vulnerable deep-sea marine ecosystems. While NAFO has made progress since 2006 in closing certain seamounts and areas of corals and sponges to fishing—including deciding at this year’s meeting to extend those closures until 2014—it has not yet fully implemented a comprehensive assessment of fragile high-seas ecosystems. This was a requirement of the United Nations (U.N.) sustainable fisheries resolutions adopted in 2006 and 2009.
Halifax, Canada: The meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, which concluded today, left conservation organizations disappointed with the failure of NAFO countries to live up to their international commitments to protect the high seas. In 2006, they all agreed through a United Nations General Assembly resolution to conduct environmental impact assessments of deep-sea fishing and to protect deep-sea species and biodiversity. The UN resolution was a compromise in response to calls by numerous governments and conservation organizations for a moratorium on bottom trawling on the high seas.
The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) this week agreed to prohibit high seas bottom fishing, including bottom trawling, in some 2,500 square miles of areas identified by Canadian scientists as containing significant concentrations of corals and sponges. But NAFO failed to agree to implement environmental impact assessments as required by a 2006 United Nations General Assembly resolution to protect deep-sea biodiversity such as cold-water corals, seamounts and sponge ecosystems.
On behalf of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), we extend our best wishes to you for 2009.
We wish to highlight 2009 as an important year for the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. As of 31 December 2008, high seas fishing States have agreed, under UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 61/105, to prohibit their flagged fishing vessels from bottom fishing on the high seas where regulations have not been established to implement paragraphs 83 – 86 of the resolution.
Update on the implementation of UN GA Res/61/105 With the sustainable fisheries negotiations resuming next week, below is a compilation of the latest news from recent RFMO meetings and their progress towards implementation of UNGA Resolution 61/105 paragraphs 83-86 on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems from high seas bottom fishing.
The annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), which took place in Vigo, Spain September 22-26 2008, failed to take the necessary steps to fully implement the 2006 UNGA resolution on the protection of deep-sea ecosystems on the high seas.
At its 30th Annual Meeting held in Vigo, Spain this past week, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) addressed several issues important to long-term conservation of the marine environment, but failed to agree to protect areas of the deep-sea, which scientists had identified as vulnerable to the impact of bottom fishing.
As the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) prepares to begin its meeting in Vigo next week (21 September) it faces a major challenge to achieve implementation of UN resolution 61/105.