A healthy ocean will benefit global sustainable development in a number of ways, finds a new report published today by the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program. With climate change and social inequity addressed, restoring the ocean will help alleviate poverty, provide livelihoods, and improve the health of millions around the world.
POLICY BRIEF: Adjacency: How legal precedent, ecological connectivity, and Traditional Knowledge inform our understanding of proximity
Pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), all States have customary and treaty obligations to protect and preserve the marine environment and its resources. Several countries have expressed an interest in the question of whether States could properly assert priority over the conservation of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) adjacent to their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). The term “adjacency”, with respect to maritime coastal boundaries, refers to a State’s spatial proximity with the open ocean and deep sea in ABNJ.
Thai, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indonesian men are subject to forced labor on Thai and foreign-owned fishing boats. Some remain at sea for several years, are paid very little or irregularly, work as much as 18 to 20 hours per day for seven days a week, or are reportedly threatened, physically beaten, drugged to work longer, and even killed for becoming ill, attempting to escape, or disobeying orders.
This information sheet looks at Japanese seafood imports and locations of forced and child labour.
POLICY BRIEF: Space for conservation and sustainable use: area-based management in areas beyond national jurisdiction
Marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction contain ecosystems with marine resources and biodiversity of significant ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural importance. These areas and their resources are subject to increasing impacts from ongoing human activities and global climate change and their associated cumulative and combined effects.
Despite their remoteness, the high seas and deep ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) are at the forefront of CO2-induced climate stress, both in their mitigation capacity, and their vulnerabilities. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission alters ocean conditions, leading to ocean warming, deoxygenation and acidification. These ocean changes affect marine life throughout the ABNJ, from the surface to the deep sea, by changing species’ distributions, migration routes, ecosystem structure and functions.
Up until the 1960s, the open-ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) was one of the last frontiers of fisheries exploitation. The magnitude and inaccessibility of open-ocean ecosystems, as well as technological constraints, deterred fisheries from operating intensely in them. However, open-ocean fisheries expanded exponentially from the 1960s through the 1980s and 1990s, at which point global fish catches peaked, plateaued and possibly began to decline.
POLICY BRIEF: Satellite tracking to monitor area-based management tools & identify governance gaps in fisheries beyond national jurisdiction
A new source of publicly accessible data on fishing vessel activity is providing unprecedented insight into the scope of fishing in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) and governance gaps therein. This emerging source of ocean ‘big data’ can help quantify who is fishing where in ABNJ, can enhance cooperation between competent authorities, and can help States and competent organizations implement policies and management measures related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.
POLICY BRIEF: Open Data: enabling conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction
Open data is critically important for effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Open data enables effective and efficient environmental impact assessments, area-based management, sharing of non-monetary benefits of marine genetic resources and achieving marine technology transfer. As components of marine technology transfer, data acquisition (including biological, genetic, environmental and other forms of data) and accessibility are therefore both important issues for the new instrument.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Part XIV provides for State cooperation with the view to promoting the development and transfer of marine science and technology. In addition, Article 202 refers to the provision of scientific and technical assistance to developing States for the protection and preservation of the marine environment. UNCLOS Part XIV and XIII refer to various forms of technology transfer including training, access to information, international scientific research cooperation and establishing national and regional marine science and technology centres.
A report entitled “Predicting Future Oceans: Climate Change, Oceans & Fisheries” newly released by the Nereus program, an international interdisciplinary research program aimed at predicting future oceans, suggests that future seafood supply in the world will be substantially altered by climate change, overfishing and habitat destruction if we do not take actions.