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World leaders commit to 100% sustainable ocean management

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) put forward a new ocean action agenda, paired with bold commitments and new research. The 14 world leaders of the Ocean Panel committed to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction by 2025, guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans. The countries will bring a holistic approach to ocean management that balances protection, production and prosperity to nearly 30 million sq km of national waters – an area the size of Africa. The Ocean Panel also urged leaders of coastal and ocean states across the globe to join in committing to the 100% goal so that all Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) are sustainably managed by 2030.

The leaders of Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, Norway and Palau released the Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: A Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity.

The ocean is central to life on earth, peoples’ livelihoods and the economy, but the ocean’s health is at risk from pressures such as pollution, overfishing and climate change. “For too long, we have perceived a false choice between ocean protection and production. No longer. We understand the opportunities of action and the risks of inaction, and we know the solutions. Building a sustainable ocean economy is one of the greatest opportunities of our time. The members of the Ocean Panel are united in our commitment to sustainably managing 100% of our national waters by 2025,” said Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Ocean Panel Co-chair.

Ocean Panel members set out to develop a transformative set of recommendations to deliver a sustainable ocean economy that would benefit people everywhere and effectively protect the ocean. The result is a new ocean action agenda that, if achieved, could help produce as much as six times more food from the ocean, generate 40 times more renewable energy, lift millions of people out of poverty, and contribute one-fifth of the GHG emissions reductions needed to stay within 1.5°C.

“We agree with the Ocean Panel that a sustainable ocean economy - where protection, production and prosperity are all prioritized and mutually reinforcing – is the best path to a healthy ocean that provides solutions for major challenges, like food security and human health. BioMar is committed to giving 100% effort in the areas where we can make a difference especially sustainable seafood,” said Carlos Diaz, CEO BioMar.

Actions for aquafeeds include the adoption of alternative raw materials, minimizing inefficiencies in the feed supply chain and best practices in order to reduce the amount of nutrient leakage in connection with feed formulation and application. Aquaculture actions are the acceleration of fed and non-fed aquaculture production that fits local environmental, governance and economic priorities and put in place policies and management frameworks to minimize the environmental impacts of aquaculture.

To build resilience, ocean food production must meet national and local needs and be adapted to a changing climate. Doing so can enhance food security, improve nutrition, human health and well-being, create sustainable economic growth and jobs and prevent the widening of current inequities. The hope of this initiative is that by 2030 wild fish stocks are restored and harvested at sustainable levels, aquaculture is sustainably grown to meet global needs, and waste is minimized and managed throughout the value chain.

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