Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Reports


Laura Kaikkonen, University of Helsinki
Lissette Victorero, Norwegian Institute for Water Research
Matthew Gianni, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition
Teresa Amaro, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM)
Sofia Graça Aranha, University of Algarve
Peter J. Auster, Mystic Aquarium and University of Connecticut
David M. Bailey, University of Glasgow
James Bell, Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science, UK
Angelika Brandt, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum & Goethe University
Jeff Drazen, University of Hawaii
Malcolm R. Clark, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
Cherisse Du Preez, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada
Isa Elegbede Olalekan, University of Technology, Germany
Elva Escobar-Briones, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Eva Giacomello, University of the Azores, Portugal
Kerry L. Howell, University of Plymouth, UK
Andrew F. Johnson, MarFishEco Fisheries consultants Ltd, Edinburgh
Lisa Levin, University of California San Diego
Lucien Maloueki, Institut National de Recherches en Sciences Exacte et Naturelles, Congo Brazzaville
Rosanna J. Milligan, Nova Southeastern UniversityFollow
Tina N. Molodtsova, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, Russia
Stephen Oduware, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and FishNet Alliance, Nigeria
Tabitha R R Pearman, South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute, Falkland Islands
Christopher K. Pham, University of the Azores, Portugal
Sofia P. Ramalho, University of Aveiro, Portugal
Ashley A. Rowden, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
Tracey Sutton, Nova Southeastern UniversityFollow
Michelle Taylor, University of Essex, UK
Les Watling, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Patience Whitten, Environmental Law Institute, USA

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The intensity of deep-sea fisheries on the high seas and the impacts on the marine environment call for effective measures to ensure that fishing does not compromise the commitments established for protecting biodiversity in the deep ocean by the United Nations. In order to prevent significant adverse impacts (SAIs) on vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), high seas fishing nations agreed to stop fishing activities where VMEs are known or likely to occur unless the fishing can be managed to prevent SAIs on VMEs. To determine whether fishing activities can be conducted in a sustainable manner that prevents impacts on VMEs, States agreed on criteria for conducting impact assessments (IAs) for deep-sea fisheries through a set of Guidelines negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO Guidelines). The FAO Guidelines were adopted in 2009 (FAO 2009) and later that year the UN General Assembly (UNGA) expressly committed States to ensuring that bottom fishing is prohibited unless prior impact assessments consistent with the FAO Guidelines have been carried out. Despite progress made by States and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and Agreements (RFMO/As) to conduct IAs, there remain significant gaps in the implementation of the IAs following the FAO criteria and commitments in the UNGA resolutions. This report describes the results of a review of a selection of IAs for deep-sea fishing on the high seas conducted by members of the Fisheries Working Group of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), consisting of a multidisciplinary group of deep-sea ecology, fisheries and policy experts. The nine selected IAs have either been submitted by States to RFMO/As, have been conducted by the RFMO/A itself, or represent an independent evaluation prepared by a fishing nation. The overall goal of the review was to evaluate the content and consistency of the selected IAs against the science-based criteria established in the FAO Guidelines in light of the UNGA resolutions committing States to conduct the assessments consistent with the Guidelines.

Publication Title

Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative Report