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IMO welcomes Global Oceans Commission report

IMO welcomes Global Oceans Commission report
IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu today welcomed the ‘From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean’ report from Global Ocean Commission (GOC).

In a letter to GOC co-chairs José María Figueres, Trevor Manuel and David Miliband, Sekimizu told the report’s authors, writing: “You are to be congratulated for producing such an important, comprehensive document in a short time.”

The report, initiated in February 2013, paints a damning picture of the current maritime environment, discussing at length the “habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, overfishing, pollution, climate change and ocean acidification” occurring in global oceans and calling for a UN “Sustainable Development Goal” for the seas, a UN Special Representative for the ocean, and an independent Global Ocean Accountability Board.

Addressing the assertion within the report that “Governance is woefully inadequate, and on the high seas, anarchy rules the waves,” Sekimizu wrote: “Regarding… the need to strengthen the governance of the high seas through promoting care and recovery, IMO has led in the development of ecosystem-based management tools applicable to all marine areas and has in place fourteen Particular Sensitive Sea Areas, and various special areas under MARPOL addressing operational discharges from shipping.”

Further,  Sekimizu cited the reduced number of large oil spills today to, “just an eighth of that during the 1970s".

“This dramatic reduction has been due to the combined efforts of IMO, through its Member Governments and the oil/shipping industries to improve safety and pollution prevention,” he said.

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