Johannesburg Summit Calls For Restoration of Fisheries by 2015
Johannesburg, 28 August A provision calling for restoration of depleted
fisheries not later than 2015 was agreed to by negotiators at the World Summit
on Sustainable Development yesterday.
The agreement was the last in a series of provisions that recognizes that the
world's oceans and fisheries are in trouble and need urgent attention. United
Nations studies have shown that three-quarters of the world's fisheries are
presently fished to their sustainable levels or beyond.
A breakthrough, the agreement on the target marks a major commitment that
requires countries to marshal resources and political will to ensure the
responsible management of fisheries.
"This agreement provides us with the crucial underpinning for government
action," according to Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai.
"Overfishing cannot continue. The depletion of fisheries poses a major
threat to the food supply of millions of people. This agreement recognizes that
we need coordinated action between governments on an urgent basis to manage the
oceans responsibly, to meet the needs of people now and in the
Desai added that it was absolutely necessary that government commitments to
implement sustainable fishing be complemented through partnerships by and
between governments, fishermen, communities , and industry. "We have no
choice but to work together on this," he said.
In addition, agreement was reached on a provision that calls on countries to
ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and other conventions that promote
maritime safety and protect the environment from marine pollution and
environmental damage by ships.
Agreement was also reached on a text that asks regional fisheries management
organizations to consider the needs of developing countries when allocating
fish quotas. Developing countries have maintained that existing fisheries
regimes do not reflect their interests.
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Department of Economic and
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24 August 2006