In the scope discussion on MGRs, a number of countries argued that fisheries are outside the scope of the Agreement. The HSA intervened to make it clear firstly that this issue has already been resolved by the agreement that this process and the instrument will not undermine other regional and sectoral bodies and suggested that this issue be addressed in one article at the front of the document instead of being fought out in every section.

This is important because fish of all types are a key part of the marine environment and cannot be left out.  The HSA’s position is that there should be no language which excludes fish.


The discussion on ABMTs, including MPAs, started off with the issue of identification.  Several delegations highlighted the need to clarify what international standards and criteria actually mean.

All delegations referred to the fact that there is a list of criteria in the Aid with most in agreement that we need an indicative list – perhaps as an annexe for ease of revision.

The inclusion of cumulative impacts, climate change, traditional knowledge and social and economic elements within the criteria attracted a lot of attention.

Most delegations supported the identification of MPAs by the new global body.  There was a lot of discussion around the role of the new global body in identifying MPAs. The HSA’s position is that areas should be identified in proposals based on best available scientific information and traditional knowledge where available.

There was widespread convergence that identification should be informed by best available science, this was less apparent for traditional knowledge and socio-economic consideration.

Tomorrow the Working Group will be looking at the establishment of MPAs