EUROPE'S Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki plans to take her campaign on discards and illegal fishing to South America later this year.
She is attending the UN Conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro this June where oceans are one of the main priorities she plans to raise
She told Fishupdate: " I will bring to the “Rio plus 20″ conference the EU commitment to move forward on several fronts, towards ambitious goals.
"My hope is that our partners’ ambition will match ours and that the contribution of civil society will help us to tackle outstanding issues, such as discards and illegal fishing. To do so, we need to fill the serious governance gap that exists today. Only through concrete actions across borders and sectors we will be able to achieve overarching objectives of the international community, such as biodiversity protection and address the conservation and the sustainable use of marine biological diversity in deep-sea areas, beyond national jurisdiction.
"Only together we can settle the question of access rights to marine genetic resources in those areas and only working together and sharing our knowledge of the seas we can fully benefit from them. Our Blue Growth initiative is exactly about this, but we must seize the opportunity offered by the Rio plus 20 conference and sharing our vision beyond Europe’s borders."
Ms Damanaki added: "This will allow us to unlock oceans’ economic potential. They can deliver smart, green and sustainable growth and create high-value jobs, thus contributing to our continent’s economic recovery. We need to accelerate this process by finding a dynamic yet responsible way to use marine resources for the benefit of mankind, shifting from the traditional perception of “open access” to marine resources to a concept of shared responsibility over the global commons. This is the vision I will push for in Brazil."
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