Marine Conservation Workshops Focus on IUU, EBSAs and Invasives
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Ecologically or biologically sensitive marine areas (EBSAs), seagrass conservation, invasive species, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing have been the focus of marine conservation initiatives and workshops held throughout April and May.

cms_sprep_faoheadquartersMay 2015: Ecologically or biologically sensitive marine areas (EBSAs), seagrass conservation, invasive species, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing have been the focus of marine conservation initiatives and workshops held throughout April and May.

The Oceania 21 Conference in New Caledonia brought together 17 Pacific island governments and development partners to understand the impacts of climate change on coral reefs and seagrass. Also in the Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) launched a regional TV campaign to raise awareness on the harmful impacts of invasive species, specifically the spread of the Little Fire Ant across the region. Meanwhile, in Australia, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Common Oceans Tuna Project co-sponsored a Pacific Shark Life History Expert Panel to discuss ways to reduce the impact of tuna fisheries on biodiversity by improving data and assessment methods for sharks, thereby promoting their sustainable management.

In the UAE, marine experts from 15 Northwest Indian Ocean countries as well as the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates office participated in a regional workshop to describe marine areas that meet criteria developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for ecologically or biologically sensitive marine areas (EBSAs).

Finally, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (GFCM/FAO) convened a workshop in Marrakech, Morocco, to discuss measures to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including the use of vessel monitoring systems (VMS). Workshop participants also proposed to proclaim 24 April of each year as ‘International day against IUU fishing.’ [SPREP Press Release on Little Fire Ant] [SPREP Press Release on Seagrass] [CMS Press Release on EBSA Meeting] [GFCM News] [Common Oceans News]

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