Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want

The High Seas Alliance (HSA), with its 35 non-governmental members, as well as the IUCN, has been working towards protecting approximately 50% of the planet that is the high seas, since its founding in 2011. As the region of the global ocean that is beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas includes some of the most biologically important, least protected, and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world.

HSA members work together to inspire, inform and engage the public, decision-makers and experts to support and strengthen high seas governance and conservation, as well as to cooperate toward the establishment of high seas protected areas.  As such, our current priority is a new international legally binding treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that will protect biological diversity in the high seas and seabed.

Currently, there is no legal mechanism with which to establish marine protected areas outside of States’ territorial seas, nor a mechanism to undertake environmental impact assessments. At the same time, increasing impacts from human activity, through overfishing, deep-seabed mining and shipping, as well as climate change, continue to negatively affect biodiversity on the high seas. HSA is working to ensure that current United Nations discussions around the new treaty result in recommendations for robust and effective conservation measures that address gaps in current ocean governance.

Source: National Geographic, Stephen Leahy

A new international effort hopes to stem the tide of illegal and under-regulated fishing and otherwise protect the ocean from a range of threats, to benefit everyone. <--break->The nations of the world have launched a historic two-year process to create the first-ever international treaty to protect life in the high seas.

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution today, December 24th, towards protecting half the planet as it agrees to the opening of formal negotiations for a new ocean treaty.

Peggy Kalas, Coordinator of the High Seas Alliance (HSA), focuses on the importance of preserving the biodiversity of the high seas, as well as combatting climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution.