Thursday, March 05, 2009

Climate in the ocean

The UN FAO's Committee on fisheries (COFI) which is meeting this week in Rome is drawing attention on the role of climate change on the future of world fisheries.

Climate change is disturbing of course. But the political climate that prevents a strong and effective ocean governance isn't less so.

In The State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture, the FAO notes that:

"The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/177 in 2007 deplored the fact that fish stocks in many parts of the world are overfished or subject to sparsely regulated fishing effort. The relationship between excess capacity and illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing was also highlighted in COFI, the United Nations General Assembly and regional fora. There was only limited progress in the implementation of measures inter alia to mainstream the precautionary and ecosystem approaches to fisheries, eliminate bycatch and discards, regulate bottom-trawl fisheries, manage shark fisheries, and deal with IUU fishing in a comprehensive manner".

FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department's most recent publications include an interesting Worldwide Review of Bottom Fisheries in the High Seas . Probably the most up-to-date information to find out which States' vessels are fishing where in the high seas, how many vessels are involved and how much is caught [amounts and species], the status of fish stocks taken in deep-sea bottom fisheries, etc.

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