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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Marine conservation progress welcomed
The South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) has pledged to apply a number of new marine conservation measures at its annual meeting this week, winning praise from the European Union. The EU's proposal to shut down certain fisheries in areas with sensitive features such as seamounts between 2007 and 2010 was approved at the Namibia-hosted event, boosting protection in the region.
Other protective measures agreed included the creation of a 'blacklist' of vessels known to be practicing illegal fishing, and a ban on transshipments in the SEAFO area. Actions to reduce the fatality levels of sea turtles in fishing operations, and a ban on the practice of shark finning were also approved.
'The agreement reached at the SEAFO meeting shows the significant role that Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) can and must play in protecting sensitive marine habitats,' said Joe Borg, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner. 'This positive development strengthens the position that the EU has put forward at the General Assembly of the United Nations this week on banning destructive fishing practices. Wherever scientific advice indicates the need to protect sensitive marine habitats, RFMOs – and flag states where RFMOs are not yet up and running – have to assume their responsibility.'
SEAFO, which was set up in 2004, currently consists of Angola, the EU, Namibia and Norway. South Africa has indicated that it will become a member nation in the near future.
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