The Indian Ocean is a crucial ecosystem in the race to protect the high seas. From safeguarding marine biodiversity to promoting sustainable, socially responsible fishing, the changes needed to protect the Indian Ocean could pave the way for ocean protection the world over.
The timing has never been more critical. Across the global oceans, fish populations have been decimated by industrial fishing and marine habitats are reeling from the cumulative impacts of overexploitation and climate breakdown. The Indian Ocean is a frontline for these crises. The climate emergency is transforming the region, multiplying the pressures already exerted on wildlife and local communities by the industrial fishing vessels that plunder the high seas. It is estimated that around one third of the assessed fish populations in the Indian Ocean are overfished. In this report, we will focus on fishing pressure on the high seas of the western Indian Ocean; the threats this industry poses to biodiversity and livelihoods, and the need to transform ocean governance with a Global Ocean Treaty.
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