Anchovy fishery. (Photo: Magrama)
Fisheries on alert for offshore regulation discussions
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 22:10 (GMT + 9)
Debates began at the UN headquarters, within the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), whose objective is to negotiate a treaty that regulates international waters, those that are beyond the 200 miles off the coastal States.
The purpose of the IGC during the discussions that will take place over the course of two weeks is to begin to outline the framework of a legally binding treaty to protect marine biodiversity in high seas areas, through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the generalization of environmental impact assessments (EIA) for activities that may cause damage to the sea and the improvement of environmental research, reported La Voz de Galicia.
The fishing sector is waiting because the released information refers to the possibility of depleting resources, critical to trawling, corals and vulnerable seabeds.
CEPESCA Secretary General Javier Garat argues that this information is part of a campaign launched by environmentalists in parallel to the meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference so that this international legal framework also affects fishing and requires more activities.
He adds that unlike the exploitation of the genetic treasure that holds the waters “belonging to all" or of the hydrocarbons that they store, fishing has rules: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the New York agreement, as it is known to regulate highly migratory fish stocks, and the regional fisheries organizations (RFOs), the multilateral fora in which countries agree on management rules for fisheries species under their jurisdiction.
In this sense, the Spanish fishing sector fears that with this international treaty that is being debated, the intention is to run from the scene to the ORPs by creating an organism to which they are subordinated. That is something that Cepesca "totally opposes," explains Garat, who defends a legal management formula that works.
The legal agreement under discussion is expected to end in 2020 with a text that guarantees the environmental protection of international waters; that is to say, more than two thirds of the total oceans that are shared by all countries. Some of the addressed issues include pollution, overfishing and illegal fishing.