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Common Oceans Program - Deep-sea fisheries

Partnership for sustainability and biodiversity in the ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction










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    Common Oceans Program side event: a global partnership supporting UNFSA 2023
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    The Common Oceans Program is a global alliance of stakeholders and partners – including regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the private sector – for transformational change, promoting sustainable use of marine resources and strengthened biodiversity conservation in the areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), in face of a changing environment. Sustainable management of straddling and highly migratory species is at the core of the Program, with two projects focused on improving the management of tuna and deepsea fish stocks in the ABNJ. In particular, the projects aim to strengthen cooperation among RFMOs, implement the precautionary and ecosystem approach to fisheries, and address data gaps and compliance challenges by applying innovative tools and approaches. Furthermore, the Program promotes cooperation and coherence in the governance of ABNJ through cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation. This side event focuses on the achievements so far and the challenges and opportunities for the second phase of the Common Oceans Program in an evolving environment, taking into account the progress in the international legislative framework. The event will provide the opportunity for RFMO, government, civil society and industry partners to share their experiences on cooperation for sustainable fisheries management in line with UNFSA recommendations.
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    Strengthening deep-sea fisheries management in areas beyond national jurisdiction 2024
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    This course was developed by the Common Oceans Deep-Sea Fisheries Project, which brings together a global partnership dedicated to advance responsible deep-sea fisheries management and biodiversity conservation in areas beyond national jurisdiction. It covers both the policy and legal, as well as the operational aspects of management, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of States at both national and regional levels.
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    Project
    Improving Sustainability of Deep-Sea Fisheries and Ecosystems - GCP/GLO/366/GFF 2021
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    Deep Sea Fisheries (DSF) occur at great depths in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) and constitute a small fraction of global fisheries; however, DSF are often highly valuable, generating up to USD 620 million annually. Interest in deep sea species has led to concerns about their enhanced vulnerability as a result of increased fishing activities and the potential damage caused by bottom contact fishing gears to fragile benthic ecosystems like coral reefs and sponge grounds. Although significant progress has been made in promoting sustainable DSF and protecting biodiversity in the ABNJ, the pace and scope of management measures and scientific understanding needs to be expanded, given the known vulnerability of deep sea fish stocks, associated bycatch species and habitats. Greater international and consumer pressure, as well as raised awareness and readiness for action among stakeholders, are now creating favourable conditions for acting decisively in support of the implementation of relevant policy and legal frameworks that are strengthening spatial planning and control measures, including the improved protection of sensitive areas such as vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). The main objective of this project one of four projects making up the Global Environment Facility financed Program on Global Sustainable Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in ABNJ was to achieve efficiency and sustainability in the use of deep sea living resources and improving biodiversity conservation in the ABNJ. It aimed to achieve this through the systematic application of an ecosystem approach to: ( i ) improving sustainable management practices for DSF, taking into account the impacts on related ecosystems, (ii) improving the protection of VMEs and enhanced conservation and management of components of ecologically and biologically significant areas and (iii) testing area based planning tools for deep sea ecosystems.

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