A draft international UN agreement was finalized this month which will govern the conduct of government in open seas or international waters beyond the jurisdiction of any particular nation.
Experts believe that the High Seas Treaty, once it is ratified, will help reverse biodiversity losses and ensure sustainable development.
Over 66 per cent of the world’s oceans comprise of high seas or international waters where all countries have a right to fish and use for shipping. Only 1 per cent of water is currently protected, leaving the high seas at the risk of being exploited by overfishing, shipping, and climate change.
Sharks, whales and shellfish are among marine species threatened by extinction due to human exploitation for food and medicine. Also, under threat from climate change are 41 per cent of marine life in general.
The new treaty hopes to help achieve the global goal of protecting 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030. | Photo credit: YONHAP
Climate change has also increased marine heat waves 20-fold and this can lead to extreme weather events like cyclones.
The new treaty hopes to help achieve the global goal of protecting 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030. This will mean limiting fishing activities, shipping routes and exploration activities like deep-sea mining.