After an exhausting 40-hour session capping two weeks of negotiations at the UN headquarters in New York, the United Nations (UN) member states agreed to a landmark international Treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine Biological diversity of areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). These areas comprise around two thirds of our oceans. The treaty will implement area-based management tools, including marine protected areas (MPAs), and will regulate human activities in the High Seas. The EU fishing sector welcomes the agreement since the BBNJ Treaty will play a fundamental role in protecting and sustainably use marine areas not sufficiently regulated while respecting and building on the success of fisheries management.
The title perfectly summarises the message unanimously given by governments during the Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, organized by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Government of Spain in Torremolinos this week. The Conference aims to promote the widespread adoption of the Cape Town Agreement (CTA), a key IMO treaty for safety of fishing vessels, which so far has not entered into force due to low ratification levels1. Thanks to the recent accession of Spain and the boost provided by the Conference, nearly 50 countries signed a Declaration to enhance safety at sea by promoting the entry into force of the CTA and combating IUU fishing.