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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
Daily Web
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06 June
07 June
08 June
09 June
10 June &
13 June - - - - - - - - -
14 June - - - - - - - - -
15 June &


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Trawling and Turtles Top Tuesday Talks at UNICPOLOS-6

On Tuesday, delegates to the sixth meeting of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS-6 or Consultative Process) reconvened in the Discussion Panel on fisheries and their contributions to sustainable development. In the morning, presentations were made on recent developments. In the afternoon, delegates addressed commercial and large-scale fishing.

Above, Alfonso Ascencio of Mexico confers with Co-Chair Philip Burgess before the morning session.

Tuesday, 7 June
Discussion Panel on Recent Developments

Robert Ovetz of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project asked about connections between high seas Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) and protection of sea turtles.

Agustín Blanco-Bazán of the IMO questioned why states were unable to become parties to the Torremolinos Protocol.

Serge Garcia of FAO reported on the outcome of the 26th session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) that covered issues such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, small-scale fisheries, and MPAs.

Driss Meski of ICCAT highlighted measures adopted to detect and restrict IUU fishing.

Yoshimi Suenaga of Japan stressed the critical role FAO plays in feeding scientific data into the global oceans agenda.

Lee Kimball of IUCN noted that agreeing on indicators for sustainable fisheries may alllow for better assessments of the implementation of the FSA.

Elie Jarmache of France questioned whether the existing legal framework for fisheries management was sufficient or, needed augmentation.

Noor Sidharta reaffirmed Indonesia's commitment to combat IUU fishing.

Holly Koehler of the United States stressed the importance of implementing existing agreements, and urged countries to implement the FAO ministerial declaration on IUU fishing.

Kjartan Hoydal of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission reported on the outcomes of the fourth meeting of Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs), which reviewed the relevant Decisions of the 26th session of COFI.

Kristina Gjerde of IUCN stated that her agency's report on high seas bottom fishing was believed to be factually and scientifically accurate.

Ulises Munaylla-Alarcón of the Permanent Commission of the South Pacific (CPPS) asked how coordination could be carried out between RFMOs and other organizations with marine environmental mandates.

Monica Verbeek of Seas at Risk called for considering the impacts of high seas bottom trawling on biodiversity, rather than simply looking at catch statistics.

Saskia Richardtz of Greenpeace drew attention to her report on the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, highlighting difficulties in addressing fish stock depletion and IUU fishing.

Evelyne Meltzer of Canada presented a global overview of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks in relation to RFMOs.
Side Event on Post-Indian Ocean Tsunami Actions

The UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) hosted a lunchtime side event on international actions being taken in the wake of the 26 December Indian Ocean tsunami, including international proposals for improved tsunami warning systems and networks.
Discussion Panel on Commercial and Large-Scale Fishing

Co-Chair Maquieira of Chile gaveled the start of the afternoon session.

International Coalition of Fisheries Associations Vice-Chair Patrick McGuinness indicated that the fishing industry is moving to reduce its environmental impact, and cautioned that moratoria would benefit illegal operators.

Dmitry Gonchar of the Russian Federation supported the ICFA's view of the ineffectiveness of moratoria.

William Chandler of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute stressed that scientific evidence is clear as to the destructive impacts of high seas bottom trawling.

Stuart Beck of Palau asked whether bottom-trawling gear comes into contact with seamounts, and why New Zealand's seamounts had been closed to bottom fishing.

Stuart Howard of the International Transport Workers' Federation enquired about the welfare and working conditions of fishing vessel crews.

Javier Garat Pérez of the Spanish Federation of Fisheries Organizations stressed the unequal position of responsible industries when competing on the market with IUU fishing companies.

Callum Roberts of the University of York questioned whether FAO statistics on fish stocks give an accurate picture of high seas fisheries.

Sebastián Losada of Greenpeace stressed the participation of regulated sectors in the decision-making process.

Valeria Carvajal Oyarzo of Chile noted States' obligation to conserve fishing resources within the Exclusive Economic Zone and high seas.

Jeff Canin of Humane Society International urged delegates not to think in terms of target and non-target species.

Todd Steiner of Turtle Island Restoration Network proposed setting limits on bycatch of turtles or other species and imposing moratoria only if those limits are reached.

International fisheries consultant Matthew Gianni noted that many companies based in countries that have committed to combating IUU fishing operate vessels flying flags of convenience.

Maria Candela Castillo of the European Commission underscored the importance of networking RFMOs and the neeed for the international community to agree on customs codes for fish products.

Carmen-Paz Marti of Spain observed that data collection can be undertaken even in the absence of RFMOs.

Anne Rogers of DESA stopped to chat with ENB team leader Alice Bisiaux.

An evening reception presented by three NGO coalitions included speakers Linda Weilgart, Elsa Cabrera, Sigrid Lüber, Kristina Gjerde (shown earlier) and moderator Marsha Green.

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.