Seas at Risk Urges Ending Overfishing to Mitigate Climate Impacts
Photo by Duangphorn Wiriya on Unsplash
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Participants called for holistic, comprehensive solutions to address the ocean and climate crises.

They recognized that ending overfishing offers an immediate action that will restore fish populations, increase income and jobs for fishers and coastal communities, deliver more profitable fisheries, create more resilient ecosystems, and decrease carbon dioxide pollution and increase carbon capture.

On the sidelines of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC, Seas At Risk and Our Fish convened a group of experts to discuss how ending overfishing can build ocean resilience and mitigate climate impacts. The group called for immediate government action to end overfishing, as a key climate action.

Speaking at an event on COP25’s Ocean Day, the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, stressed a healthy ocean ecosystem is critical for a healthy planetary ecosystem. He highlighted SDG 14 (life below water) target 14.4 on ending overfishing by 2020, saying that ending “overfishing is a very achievable target.”  UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit, Rashid Sumaila, said the combination of overfishing and climate change “is deadly for fish stocks and marine ecosystems.” He called for holistic, comprehensive solutions to address the ocean and climate crises, stressing that “ending overfishing would strengthen the ocean.”

Participants recognized that ending overfishing offers an immediate action that will restore fish populations, increase income and jobs for fishers and coastal communities, deliver more profitable fisheries, create more resilient ecosystems, and decrease carbon dioxide pollution and increase carbon capture.

Participants also discussed the European Union’s (EU) fisheries ministers’ commitment to end overfishing, as set out in the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The Policy states that fishing practices should not harm the ability of fish populations to reproduce and recommends 2015 and 2020 catch limits that are “sustainable and maintain fish stocks in the long term.” EU member States are meeting on 16-17 December to discuss issues related to agriculture and fisheries, including setting total allowable catches (TACs) for the Atlantic and North Sea fish stocks. [EU Today News Story] [Seas at Risk News Story] [Common Fisheries Policy] [Agriculture and Fisheries Meeting Webpage] [Agriculture and Fisheries Meeting Agenda] [IISD RS Coverage of Ocean Actions Day] [Working Paper


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