Today there are fewer fish in the sea than ever before…
On June 23 the Global Ocean Commission, an independent initiative made up of 17 leaders from around the world, released a blood-chilling report. In the second alinea of the introduction the authors come straight to the point:
“Our ocean is in decline. Habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, overfishing, pollution, climate change and ocean acidification are pushing the ocean system to the point of collapse. Governance is woefully inadequate, and on the high seas, anarchy rules the waves. Technological advance, combined with a lack of regulation, is widening the gap between rich and poor as those countries that can, exploit dwindling resources while those that can’t experience the consequences of those actions. Regional stability, food security, climate resilience, and our children’s future are all under threat.”
The report describes in detail the madness that mankind has embarked upon in the last 25 years. Without subsidies, the high seas fleets would not make a profit. Citizens of countries providing subsidies to their high seas fleets pay twice for their fish: as tax payers and as consumers. According to the commission even Indonesia spends 235 million dollars a year in fuel subsidies to a tuna fleet that brings in 463 million dollars of catch (and then the Government officials call this ironically ‘the blue economy’..)
The full report, or a summary, can be viewed or downloaded on www.missionocean.me. Most importantly the commission makes eight specific proposals that include calls for mandatory tracking of all vessels fishing in the high seas, a ban on the transshipment of fish at sea, measures to end pollution from plastic waste, and binding standards for the regulation and control of offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing on the high seas has significant negative ecological, economic and social impacts, and disproportionately affects developing countries. To effectively combat IUU fishing, the illegality of the practice needs to be uniformly established, the likelihood of being caught needs to be increased and market access for IUU fish needs to be cut off.
MY Sustainable Solutions urges you to join the mission and sign the petition that asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to propose new laws for high seas protection in September 2014 http://change.org/missionocean