From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global OceanCatch of the Week
A Global Ocean Commission (GOC) report, backed by an international panel of prominent business and government leaders, submits proposals to protect the ocean by adopting a sweeping “five-year rescue package.”
The report “From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean” targets high seas fishing, drilling, and pollution as immense threats that affect humanity.
Released in June 2014 by the Global Ocean Commission, the report recommends that the United Nations and national governments restrict fishing in international waters, eliminate fishing subsidies, step up the fight against illegal fishing, reduce pollution, and establish greater international cooperation on marine issues.
The independent, 17-member commission—launched in February 2013 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the University of Oxford, Adessium Foundation, and Oceans 5—spent 18 months researching and drafting the report.
The commission’s conclusions have been widely anticipated by policymakers at the UN and in many nations, in part due to the political clout of the commissioners.
Without swift action to combat overfishing, pollution, and other problems, the commission argues, the world’s food supply and biodiversity are at great risk. The ocean, the commission notes, provides half of the planet’s oxygen, absorbs half of man-made carbon emissions, and is the beginning of the food chain.
One of the commission’s most dramatic recommendations is for subsidies for fishing in international waters to be capped immediately and eliminated entirely within five years. The move could essentially end fishing on the so-called high seas because the commission found that, without the financial assistance provided by ten nations, the practice would not be financially viable.
If such significant steps are not taken within five years, then the high seas should be closed to all fishing to allow stocks to recover, the report says.
The Global Ocean Commission has been on a voyage of discovery about the global ocean. They listened to experts from science, academia, business and NGOs and identified eight proposals that show what needs to be done to stimulate a cycle of ocean recovery.
Read the original story from nationalgeographic.com.