US climate envoy Kerry says illegal fishing must stop

Lisbon, Jun 28 (EFE).- The practice of illegal fishing around the world must stop, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said Tuesday.

“We must stop the practice of reckless, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” Kerry told the United Nations Oceans Conference currently being held in Lisbon.

“We have zero prayer of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14 as long as entire fleets of vessels continue to operate with impunity,” he said in reference to the UN’s marine resources sustainability goal.

Kerry said that one country alone has thousands of vessels “knowingly” fishing illegally but that governments were not doing anything about it.

While the former US secretary of state fell short of naming the country in question directly, China is a global leader in illegal fishing, according to a number of organizations, including the Environmental Justice Foundation.

“We are allowing vessels by indifference, to knowingly, even though sanctioned by governments, follow a policy of IUU fishing,” the US diplomat said.

Kerry called for more transparency and data sharing to understand the “full complexity” of IUU fishing.

He added that a third of fish stocks were being overfished and 1 in 5 fish caught globally originated from IUU fishing.

“This violates both the laws of nature, the laws as we have passed them and the laws of common sense.

“We are not living sustainably, the oceans are not being fished sustainably, too much money is chasing too few fish,” he told the conference.

Kerry warned that lives were at stake as a result of the ocean crisis but that it could not be solved in isolation.

“We need to realize that no conversation about the ocean is about the ocean alone, you cannot separate the ocean from the climate crisis.”

“The oceans’ problems are human induced, they are subject to human solutions, we can win this battle and I hope that in Lisbon we will create greater momentum and the efforts to do so,” he concluded. EFE


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