- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Not available
- Additional Document:
Blue Marine Foundation
Submission for the preparation of zero draft for an outcome document for Rio + 20
A Blue/Green initiative for the Oceans
Some of the most important threats to sustainable development to emerge in the decade since WSSD in Johannesburg have been in the oceans. So there will be a strong public expectation that Rio+20 will address and improve man's stewardship of the watery commons that cover 70 per cent of the Earth's surface.
In the past decade we discovered that catches of wild fish peaked in the late 1980s and have since been in decline; that on our present trajectory there will be few sustainable fish stocks left by 2050; and that there are major new threats to the oceans which include acidification and mining of the deep sea. It was the decade of the Census of Marine Life, which showed that areas thought to be barren because they were too cold or too dark actually teemed with life - raising concern about how to protect it from exploitation.
The Blue Marine Foundation (Blue) is a charity which was formed as a result of public concern in that period of discovery. It is the culmination of first a book, The End of the Line, and then a film of the same name (shown at the UN General Assembly in Feb 2010) ? which in October 2011 won the inaugural Puma award for a documentary that had the most impact on society. Blue was formed to address the concerns raised in the book and film. Its major achievement to date has been to pay the British government to create the largest marine reserve in the world in the Indian Ocean.
Blue believes the explosion of public interest and concern about the oceans needs to be met with action at Rio + 20, not only in the Blue Economy section of the existing proposals but as part of a revitalised partnership for sustainable development that includes new, stronger governance structures for areas outside national jurisdictions.
Another compelling reason for action is that the crisis in the oceans, at least in terms of our exploitation of the species within it, is one of the most solvable of all environmental problems.
? Recognise that food security and biodiversity conservation fit together as never before. A World Bank report showed that $50 billion a year is being wasted through the illegal or unreported over-exploitation of fisheries. The linkages between food security in a world of greater human population and marine resources need to be made explicit and waste eliminated.
? Accelerate the creation of the network of marine protected areas called for by WCSD, ensure that they are large enough to protect biological productivity, and tackle the international governance problems raised by their creation. Protecting such areas as the Sargasso is limited by the powers granted to Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. These need reform. The EU and G77 have called for a new treaty for high seas biodiversity conservation as part of UNCLOS.
? Establish improved spatial management of the oceans, for example by zoning areas where deep sea mining is acceptable and where it is not by using the precautionary principle.
? Improve enforcement of fisheries covered by UN resolutions 61/105 and 64/72 on deep sea bottom trawling.
? Improve the coverage and scope of RFMOs so they become responsible for conservation as well as fishing. Establish common practice in the ending of discards, and the promoting of more selective gears, and greater efficiency in the harvesting of fish and fish proteins.
? Establish global standards for open-ocean aquaculture.
? Address IUU fishing by improving global fisheries transparency through a Global Record of fishing vessels and binding international standards for Flag State performance.
? Establish a process, through UNEP or its successor body, to monitor and report on the process of ocean acidification.