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Mysterious ministerial meeting

Baiona, 11th September 2009. The 5th World Conference of Fisheries Ministers will take place in Bayona, Spain on Tuesday 16th September. More than 60 Fisheries Ministers from five continents will meet to adopt a ministerial declaration bound to guide the future policy of sustainable fishing worldwide.

Yet NGOs are concerned at the lack of transparency displayed up to now by the Spanish government – a worrying sign ahead of their takeover of the Presidency of the EU in 2010. The content of the ministerial declaration remains a mystery and environmental NGOs have been disappointed at the Spanish government’s lack of interest in involving NGOs in the process.

There has also been little room for NGO participation and not much time allocated for dialogue during the first Summit on Fisheries Sustainability, an event which will precede the ministerial conference.

It seems more than a simple coincidence that Fisheries ministers from around the world will be meeting behind closed doors on the eve of important negotiations at the UN General Assembly on ocean management, including the implementation of the UNGA 2006 resolution on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems against the impacts of high seas bottom fisheries. The UNGA secretariat's report on this issue concludes that despite progress the implementation of the resolution has been uneven and further efforts are needed.

Seas At Risk, together with the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, has been campaigning for the protection of the deep sea and will follow up on the report on implementation of the UNGA resolution.

Joint NGO press release on ministerial meeting
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Deep Sea Conservation Coalition Response to UN Secretary General Review of UN resolution 61/105
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The DSCC review of the Review of the implementation of the provisions of UN GA resolution 61/105 related to the management of high seas bottom fisheries:
click here
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