David Levy – New leadership, new enforcement powers, and new Laws on Ecocide and Governance of the Oceans : that’s the real agenda – May 15

News from around the ocean world is not good. In fact it is bordering on the insane.

Current practice to fish for krill in the southern oceans is being intensified by China, South American countries and many other so called developed nations. Man, the only species to pollute his food basket, is not content with this and is going full tilt to hoover up any food that other species rely on.

Krill is the foodstuff of whales, fish and dolphins and they will suffer as a consequence of our actions.

More than any other action that is needed, Marinet is convinced that the United Nations has to establish a Marine Enforcement Agency (UNMEA). It has to be tasked with policing the oceans of the world with the power to seize, confiscate and minimise national fishing fleet size.

The Agency has to be manned by international marine officers from the countries of the United Nations. What has to be agreed also with the launch of this Agency are the terms on which they can stop a ship, what they are looking for during their search and how to know when a ship is breaching catch conditions.

This means that simple delineated catch sizes are agreed within the UN.

This has to be designed to be understood by all ocean going ships and fishermen.

They must understand that there is no second chance. If someone breaches easily understood catch limits, then the ship is forfeit.

All ships confiscated should be taken to an approved UN ship breakers yard, and the scrap metal sale goes into the budget for the UN Agency’s costs.

The key to the success of any international agency and concept is to keep the principles easily understood. This also assists in the ability to get the organisation ratified.

The truth is all countries of the UN are concerned about the ability of the oceans to support the current rate of fishing. Currently, it is everyone for themselves and eco-systems are under real strain with this free for all. The timing is right for a Law on Ecocide and for initiatives for global fishing agreements.

What has been lacking is the will to enforce what has been agreed. All actions so far are ineffective, unilateral and the crime of fishing illegally is more than compensated by the sale of the catch, resulting in profit from the crime.

Look at the history of the Irish built Atlantic Dawn to see how a purpose built factory fishing ship has repeatedly breached quota, whilst our ineffectual government and legal system allow it to trade names via changing companies, and then to get subsidies as it exports its practices into global seas and oceans.

Surely all the people of this planet require food security and equality of opportunity. That means the UN must exert leadership and control, and cannot allow a member state to dictate a veto to others states via the size of its fleet.

This requires new thinking within the United Nations, and awareness that the planet needs leadership, and the ability to enforce.

Marinet believes that the planet will not survive ecologically until it embraces this new way of thinking. Therefore we totally endorse the work currently being done by Polly Higgins and Deborah Wright.

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