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UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim issued a statement on July 20 2016 from Nairobi in support of a call by the UN Commission on Trade and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization to end harmful fishing subsidies:
“Throughout history, seas and oceans have supported life on our planet. We have viewed these vast bodies of water as near endless, inexhaustible, because our imaginations could not comprehend their scale. Now, we know better. The marine environment faces growing threats from pollution, littering and, most relevant today, overfishing. Almost one third of all fish stocks are being overfished, threatening the health of our seas and oceans, and their ability to support human life.
“Astonishingly, the world pumps an estimated $20 billion dollars each year into subsidies that directly contribute to overfishing. We aren’t shooting ourselves in the foot; we are paying somebody to do it – to destroy the blue world upon which many of us rely.”
“The Sustainable Development Goal on ocean health calls for a ban on such subsidies by 2020. We should not wait that long. Decisive action to end harmful subsidies and curb overfishing as soon as possible will benefit everybody, including fishermen themselves.
“The time for short-term thinking is over if we are to secure human health and prosperity for centuries to come. After all, if there are no fish left in the sea, there will be no fishing industry.”
The full UN Commission on Trade and Development and Food and Agriculture Organization statement can be read here. http://unctad.org/en/pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=1170