Save the ocean

United Nations member states, including the European Union, welcomed the commitment of funds towards the conservation of our oceans. Europêche believes that the new agreement will protect and enable the sustainable use of marine areas that are currently insufficiently regulated.
Fish in ocean
23 March, 2023
By Bert Popping

The Our Ocean Conference aims to strengthen collective efforts to address global warming, unsustainable practices, illegal fishing, pollution, and the loss of marine habitats. The conference brings together countries across the world, civil society, and industry to inspire joint solutions and present ambitious commitments to protect the ocean. The conference has mobilised more than 1800 commitments worth approximately $108 billion and protected more than five million square miles of ocean. The 2023 edition of the conference is themed ‘Our Ocean, Our Connection,’ which calls for new commitments and joint efforts worldwide to support a secure, clean, and sustainably managed ocean.

The EU has also committed to international ocean governance at the Our Ocean Conference in Panama, pledging €816.5 million for 39 commitments that cover all themes of the event, including marine protected areas, marine pollution, climate change, sustainable fisheries, sustainable blue economies, and maritime security. The commitments include around €320 million for ocean research to protect marine biodiversity and address the impacts of climate change on the ocean, and €126 million to protect biodiversity and fight climate change in Benin, Guyana, and Tanzania. In addition, the EU has allocated €24 million during the period 2022-2023 through voluntary contributions under the European Maritime, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) for actions to support RFMOs, RFBs, and relevant International Agreements. The EU has also committed €1 million to the WTO funding mechanism on fisheries subsidies to support developing countries through technical assistance and capacity building for the implementation of the disciplines under the WTO agreement on harmful fisheries subsidies.

In a 40-hour session, United Nations member states agreed on the Treaty on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). The treaty was welcomed by the European fishing industry body Europêche, which believes that the new agreement will protect and enable the sustainable use of marine areas that are currently insufficiently regulated. Europêche also believes that the treaty’s recognition of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) will enable them to continue their successful work in terms of fisheries management and environmental protection.

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