The high seas comprise about 50% of the world’s oceans, however, there is currently no legal mechanism with which to establish marine protected areas or make environmental impact assessments in these unprotected areas beyond national jurisdiction. With increasing impacts from overfishing, climate change, deep-seabed mining and shipping, biodiversity on the high seas must be protected. The high seas includes some of the most biologically important, least protected, and most critically threatened ecosystems, which need to be protected and preserved.
The High Seas Alliance (HSA), is a coalition of 37+ non-government members, and the IUCN, focused on facilitating the international cooperation for the protection and sustainable use of the high seas.
- High Seas Alliance
- SDG14 UN Meeting
That is why the development of a new legally binding treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to protect the high seas is imperative to establish a legal framework to implement effective conservation measures in these important yet currently vulnerable and unprotected ecosystems.
The Oceano Azul Foundation is playing a role in this process by hosting meetings and being a co-facilitator in the negotiations taking place under the SDG14 UN meeting, to ensure that the resulting treaty is effective in improving ocean governance and successfully implementing the critical conservation measures being faced on the high seas.