European Commission welcomes adoption of the 2011 UN resolution for Sustainable Fisheries
The European Commission welcomes the adoption of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on sustainable fisheries. The outcome for the EU is very satisfactory as all EU proposals have been included in the Resolution. In addition, the EU worked closely with other Parties successfully contributing to the incorporation of their proposals to the final resolution. This year focused on the review on the measures for the protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems from the impacts of bottom fishing and the long term sustainability of the deep sea fish stocks. European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said: "We welcome this UN Resolution on sustainable fisheries. I am particularly pleased about the increased protection of the Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, which was strongly pushed by the EU. Now it is important that all parties live up to the commitments made".
The Resolution recognizes the importance of different types of marine scientific research in seabed mapping of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems and also in the adoption of conservation and management measures to prevent significant adverse impacts on such ecosystems.
Flag States, regional Fisheries Management Organizations or Arrangements (RFMOs/As) and States participating in negotiations to establish such organizations or arrangements have from now on to consider the results of marine scientific research in order to adopt conservation and management measures to prevent significant adverse impacts from bottom fishing on vulnerable ecosystems.
UNGA invites FAO to consider undertaking technical guidance on encounter protocols and related mitigation measures. FAO is also invited to develop guidance for conducting assessments for vulnerable marine ecosystems, including cumulative fishing and environmental impacts and to support and facilitate work on deep-sea high seas stock assessments to ensure sustainable fisheries.
The resolution also contains a number of agreements:
- For the first time there is a reference to marine mammals and other species with regard to the need for States to collect data in relation to by-catch and to promote further research on selective fishing gears and practices and on the use of appropriate by-catch mitigation measures.
- There is a call on States to further study, develop and adopt effective management measures, taking into account best available scientific information on fishing methods, including fishing aggregating devices, to minimize by-catch.
- There is a reference to the establishment of national shark sanctuaries and other measures to protect sharks.
- There is an invitation to FAO to look into the potential effects on the incidental release of genetically engineered aquatic fish species on the health and sustainability of wild fish stocks.
- States are encouraged to make more progress within FAO on Flag State Performance.
- The amended NAFO Convention is welcomed and Contracting Parties are encouraged to approve the amendment with a view of its early coming into effect and RFMOs are encouraged to hold performance reviews on regular basis.
The Parties agreed to have the next review of the Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems measures in 2015.
- Resolution A/66/L.22 - Sustainable fisheries, including through the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks