Sure we’ll protect deep-sea fishes…uuhhh we changed our mind
The meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, which concluded today, left conservation organizations disappointed with the failure of NAFO countries to live up to their international commitments to protect the high seas. In 2006, they all agreed through a United Nations General Assembly resolution to conduct environmental impact assessments of deep-sea fishing and to protect deep-sea species and biodiversity. The UN resolution was a response to a call by conservation organizations and others for a moratorium on bottom trawling on the high seas.
“NAFO countries agreed they would assess the impacts of high seas bottom fishing by December 31st, 2008 or else stop fishing, according to the 2006 UN resolution. In 2008, NAFO countries themselves agreed to submit assessments for the 2009 fishery. They didn’t, and they still haven’t done so as far as we can tell. Without assessments, they won’t know what the impact of fishing will be nor can they manage bottom fisheries to ensure minimal impact on sensitive deep-sea ecosystems,” said Susanna Fuller of the Ecology Action Centre, an observer at the meeting.