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Ocean Summit takes off with US proposal for a watchdog

Friday, February 28th 2014 - 03:05 UTC
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The Economist and National Geography are hosting the meeting in San Francisco The Economist and National Geography are hosting the meeting in San Francisco

The proposal to create an international body within the UN governing the seas was the focus this week at the beginning of the Ocean Summit. In this international meeting, world leaders emphasized its fast degradation and increasing pressure to further exploit its resources.

 “Of course we need a global framework of some kind by which people sign up and agree to cooperate. But we not only need the rules, we need the regulatory enforcement process,“ said U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, via videoconference during the summit opening.

The meeting, hosted by The Economist and National Geographic, began on Tuesday near San Francisco with the intervention of Kerry, who announced that President Barack Obama supports the creation of a UN’s body to regulate the seas.

“We’re going to have to build a very significant political effort around this issue. We have to summon the global cooperation so that we can take the steps necessary to protect our oceans for generations to come,” US Secretary stressed at another moment in his speech.

He also emphasized that in addition to overfishing, another serious problem threatening the survival of the oceans is pollution, which has led about 500 regions of the world oceans to have no marine life.

Some of the figures released during the first day of the ocean conference highlight the magnitude of the problem: Only one out of 500 vessels is checked for compliance with the requirements of sulfur emissions, and those who pass the review, only 50% meet the regulations.

Kerry said that nearly 1,000 million people depend on daily fishing, and fisheries worldwide generate about 500,000 million dollars a year, of which 115,000 million are related to US sales alone.

He announced that this year, the State Department will organize an international conference on oceans in Washington to advance the global agenda of ocean protection. (FIS).-

Top Comments

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  • Lord Ton

    I can see it already ...... “Argentina demands .....” :-)

    Feb 28th, 2014 - 04:49 am 0
  • Conqueror

    Let's not go over the top but there might be a place for such an organisation. But there would need to be an incredible amount of work. For instance, the Law of the Sea would have to be amalgamated with admiralty law. Various countries would need to be told to amend their local laws. And, when it comes to enforcement, who will do that? The logical candidate is the United States with the largest navy. And it would need a navy. Would the United States take on, and pay for, such a force? I think not. It would need to be a multi-national force. Indeed, an extra-national force. With no allegiance to any nation. Haven't managed that with air forces, armies or navies. Every time a “crisis” comes up, individual nations have to contribute forces. And they can withdraw them just as quickly. It would need a force greater than any that any single nation could assemble. No good for the Maritime Enforcement Force to sail a single carrier battle group in if the Chinese are using five carrier battle groups to do what they want. This might be just the start of years of talking. But perhaps certain selected navies could make a start. Hauling down their national ensigns when appropriate and raising the International Maritime Enforcement Force ensign. The Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy. the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, the United States Navy.

    Feb 28th, 2014 - 04:05 pm 0
  • Briton

    Yes it is a good idea and something has to be done, but as much as some nations, that has been suggested can do it,

    Their will be others that would oppose such a force,
    And feel this as an affront both to their activities, and sovereignty, china and Japan amongst them,

    Perhaps a federation style sea police,
    That would patrol and enforce where poss. international waters.

    This first little step may well make great strides in the future.
    Just a thought..

    Feb 28th, 2014 - 07:12 pm 0
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