Target: José María Figueres, Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission and former president of Costa Rica
Goal: Applaud the Global Ocean Commission’s call to clean up the high seas and restore global fish populations
Right now, sixty-four percent of the world’s oceans lie outside of national jurisdiction. Excluding this large area means many of those responsible for depleting and degrading marine resources are under no legal obligation to do otherwise. What’s more, despite the enormous role oceans play in our lives, ocean health has been surprisingly absent in political debates worldwide. In a highly anticipated report eighteen months in the making, the Global Ocean Commission has laid out a comprehensive five-year rescue package to save the world’s single largest ecosystem.
The commission’s recommendations prioritize stricter international governance, mobilizing public and private sector leadership while emphasizing specific actions to revitalize our declining ocean ecosystems. Calling for a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for the Ocean, the report also seeks to improve ocean care and recovery with the appointment of a special UN representative for the ocean. In addition to extending protection for the world’s oceans, there are many other steps that can be taken to improve the health of our oceans. For example, the report suggests curbing global pirate fishing activity, which is estimated to account for twenty percent of global fish catch. Additionally, it calls for the cutting down of ocean pollution by setting offshore regulations on oil and gas development as well as stopping the flow of plastic into ocean waters and waterways leading into the ocean.
Regarding market incentives, the commission calls for greater transparency in fishing subsidies, through which the top ten fishing countries – Japan, Taiwan, Spain, the U.S., Chile, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and France – are depleting the high seas of fish populations. Most drastically, the commission puts forth the initiative of capping and ultimately phasing out high seas fishing fuel subsidies within the next five years.
By signing the petition below, you can show your support for these vital proposals. The health of the world’s oceans has direct implications on our own health. It is everyone’s responsibility to take an active interest in their recovery.
Dear Mr. Figueres,
I am writing to applaud the Global Ocean Commission’s proposed five-year rescue package to save the global ocean that sustains us. Your call for stronger international governance and mobilization of the public and private sector provides the basis for the action needed on the part of public and private actors alike.
It is my sincere hope that your eight proposals receive the support they need and that they are implemented promptly and earnestly. I thank you for your relentless efforts to supply our global community with a framework of common sense measures with which to redefine our approach to ocean health.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons