This week the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) releases a new report, Unfinished Business: A Review of the Implementation of the Provisions of UNGA Resolutions 61/105 and 64/72 (PDF).
The report assesses compliance with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions on high seas bottom fishing. It is the culmination of many months of engagement with world renowned scientists and our partner organizations.
The assessment finds that:
1) While progress has been made in identifying and protecting some vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) as called for in 61/105 and 64/72, the efforts taken to date are far from comprehensive;
2) The environmental impact assessments of fishing activities called for in both resolutions have not been completed for the majority of bottom fisheries; and
3) Deep-sea fisheries for many species remain unregulated, contrary to explicit language calling for such regulation in both resolutions.
Based on this assessment, the DSCC has concluded that high seas fishing States are, with few exceptions, failing to live up to the provisions of UNGA resolutions 61/105 and 64/72. As a result, deep-sea species are increasingly overexploited and VMEs continue to be significantly damaged.
Looking forward, we hope the international community will act responsibly and implement these resolutions. If not, these vulnerable species and habitats may be lost forever.