Policy Statement: Sustainable Fisheries Resolution, November 2012
The Pew Environment Group urges the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to honor countries' universal commitment to achieving sustainable global fisheries by agreeing in this year's Sustainable Fisheries resolution to implement effective conservation and management measures worldwide.
Ensuring sustainable fisheries is crucial to the conservation of biodiversity in the oceans and sustainable development ashore. The livelihoods of up to 820 million people, and the food security of some 3 billion people, currently depend on fishing. These numbers will only grow as global fish production is expected to increase 15 percent by the year 2021.
Yet the future of wild fish is in doubt. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that “the state of world marine fisheries is worsening and has had a negative impact on fishery production:”
Overexploitation not only causes negative ecological consequences, but it also reduces fish production, which further leads to negative social and economic consequences. To increase the contribution of marine fisheries to the food security, economies and well being of coastal communities, effective management plans must be put in place to rebuild overexploited stocks. The situation seems more critical for some highly migratory, straddling and other fishery resources that are exploited solely or partially in the high seas.
Recognizing this problem, the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) unanimously reaffirmed the 2015 goal, as agreed to in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), to restore depleted stocks. Further commitments were made to urgently take measures necessary to maintain or restore stock to at least levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield—a minimum standard of sustainability.4 With only three years to 2015, urgent action is needed to protect the future of wild fish and associated species.