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Sixth Session of the Open-ended
Informal Consultative Process
on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

United Nations Headquarters, New York | 6-10 June 2005

Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB
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06 June
07 June
08 June
09 June
10 June &
13 June - - - - - - - - -
14 June - - - - - - - - -
15 June &


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Sixth Informal Consultative Process Sails Into New York

The sixth meeting of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS-6 or Consultative Process) opened on Monday, 6 June 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates convened in a Plenary session in the morning and afternoon, addressing organizational matters and exchanging views on areas of concern and actions needed. In the afternoon, a Discussion Panel on fisheries and their contribution to sustainable development was held.

Above, co-chairs Cristián Maquieira of Chile and Philip Burgess of Australia.

Monday, 6 June

Juan Manuel Gomez-Robledo of Mexico proposed amending the agenda to indicate that the Consultative Process will forward "issues" rather than "recommendations" to the General Assembly.

Holger Martinsen of Argentina expressed support for the amendment proposed by Mexico.

Gunnar Palsson of Iceland agreed with the proposed amendment, after co-chair Burgess explained it would not result in any changes in substance.

Hjálmar Hannesson of Iceland prioritized full implementation of existing global instruments before creation of new ones.

Lori Ridgeway of Canada called for continuation of UNICPOLOS and a better reflection of its discussions in the report to the General Assembly.

David Balton of the United States called for moving from negotiation to implementation and noted the need to address, inter alia, an ecosystem approach to conservation and management of marine resources.

Jane Coombs of New Zealand called on States to cooperate to give effect to the General Assembly's call for interim targeted bans of destructive fishing practices in vulnerable areas.

Donna Petrachenko of Australia noted the urgent need for implementation of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement (FSA) and said derelict fishing gear heavily impacts marine resources.

Zhenmin Liu of China stressed the role played by small-scale fisheries and aquaculture for food security and poverty alleviation in developing countries.

Eun-Ju Ahn outlined the Republic of Korea's national legal instruments on sustainable fisheries, including a Special Act on Reducing Small-Sized Bottom Trawlers.

Yenette Vega noted that Venezuela will launch a registry of fisheries-related data and activities to increase organization management within the fishing industry.

Husni Mangga Barani mentioned Indonesia's joint initiative with the IMO and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on a Marine Electronic Highway to increase the safety of navigation in its area.

Jens Peter Prothmann of Namibia called for the abolition of subsidies to the fishing industry and protective trade measures.

Kjell Kristian Egge of Norway said a food security approach should be taken for future fisheries management and called on States that have not yet done so to become members to the FSA.

Fernando Zegers Santa Cruz of Chile noted the role of fisheries in food security, and said urgent steps need to be taken to regulate high seas fisheries.

Elvira Velasquez of Peru highlighted the links between fisheries and poverty reduction, food security and economic development.

The International Labour Organization called attention to recent developments in the protection of living and working conditions at sea.

The International Marine Organization noted the globalization of shipping services, and reported on its Voluntary Member State Audit Scheme aimed to promote flag States' accountability.

Patricio Bernal of the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission highlighted its work on, inter alia, the tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean.

Serge Beslier of the European Commission called for the creation of additional Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) where they do not exist.

Lee Kimball outlined the World Conservation Union's work on high seas governance and listed challenges to sustainable fisheries.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas indicated that its measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing have shown encouraging results.

James Spotila of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project drew attention to the plight of the Leatherback Turtle, and called for a temporary moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific.

Arlo Hemphill of Conservation International, on behalf of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, outlined steps toward restoring fisheries and related communities and cultures to healthy sustainable levels.

Speaking for a coalition led by the Sierra Club, Marsha Green of the Ocean Mammal Institute called for reduction of activities that create intense underwater noise until effective guidelines on marine noise pollution are developed.

The International Transport Workers Federation highlighted circumstances that contribute to IUU fishing, including human rights violations in the fishing industry.

Speaking on behalf of a group of non-governmental organizations, Virginia Gascón of Greenpeace urged consideration of the social dimension of sustainable fisheries, to ensure respect for human rights in the fisheries sector.
Side Event: Implementing International Agreements and Recommendations to Protect Deep Sea Biodiversity on the High Seas.

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition held a lunchtime side event which included three presentations. Dr. Callum Roberts from the University of York gave a scientific assessment of the impact of bottom trawling on deep sea habitats and species; Dr. Ellen Pikitch of the UN Millennium Project's Task Force on Environmental Sustainability presented the Task Force's main recommendations on how best to achieve MDGs regarding marine fisheries; and Dr. Monica Verbeek of Seas at Risk offered an analysis of RFMO experiences and failures in managing deep sea fisheries.
Discussion Panel on Fisheries and their Contribution to Sustainable Development

David Balton of the United States presented a report on the outcome of the fourth round of informal consultations of States Parties to the FSA, which focused on preparing for a review conference tentatively scheduled for May 2006.

Lori Ridgeway of Canada reported on the Conference on the Governance of High Seas Fisheries and the FSA and its outcomes, namely a ministerial declaration and chair's report on presentations and workshops identifying practical ways forward.

Serge Garcia of the Food and Agriculture Organization provided an overview of the 2004 Report on the State of Marine Fisheries, highlighting statistics on the value of the world's fish trade and global fleet sizes as selected indicators.

Alastair Macfarlane of the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations asked about possible reasons for many states having not yet signed the FSA, and definitions of "fully exploited" fisheries stocks.
Jane Willing of New Zealand noted that the FAO report dealt with pelagic species and tunas, and asked about gaps in data pertaining to straddling stocks.

Related Links

Earth Negotiations Bulletin's report on UNICPOLOS-5 (HTML, PDF, TXT).
Earth Negotiations Bulletin's report on UNICPOLOS-4 (HTML, PDF, TXT).
Sustainable Developments’ report of the Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (HTML, PDF, TXT).
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS).
GMA International Workshop site.
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.
Deep Sea Conservation Coalition rationales for a short-term moratorium on deep sea bottom trawling.
European Coalition for Silent Oceans information on underwater noise pollution.
Ocean Noise Coalition information on underwater noise pollution.
Ocean Mammal Institute information on underwater noise pollution.
Centro de Conservación Cetacea, Chile information on underwater noise pollution.