The Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association

Protecting International Fisheries

Protecting International Fisheries

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that global marine fisheries production in 2014 amounted to 81.5 million tons, a figure that the organization characterizes as being relatively stable, with little variation in recent years despite a slight upward trend.  However, the FAO also found that the state of the world’s fish stocks has not improved overall, and that more than 30% of global fisheries were being harvested at biologically unsustainable rates.  Alarmingly, there has been significant concern that the FAO’s numbers are actually the product of underreporting by fish producers, with “real” catches exceeding FAO estimates by as much as 50%, with a correlated increase in the percentage of unsustainably harvested fisheries.  And, while many nations have recognized the importance of conserving fish stocks within their territorial waters or the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, not all have the means or the will to create and enforce effective solutions to combat overfishing.  Moreover, outside the Exclusive Economic Zone, no state has the jurisdiction to enforce what regulations they have seen fit to implement.


The problem is threefold.  In the first place, it is difficult to monitor most fish stocks with any degree of certainty.  Even where the basic life-cycle of the species in question is understood, the impossibility of direct observation of the fish themselves in their underwater environment means that populations can only be assessed indirectly, by measuring the size and age of caught fish and extrapolating total species health.  This process is fraught with uncertainty, especially since marine ecosystems are only incompletely understood.  Second, underreporting of fish catches leads to an unwarrantedly optimistic view of global fisheries health.  This underreporting stems from failure to take account of “bycatch” (marine creatures or even seabirds that are taken but discarded as undesirable), as well as from overfishing and illegal fishing operations.  Third, direct environmental damage that results from certain fishing techniques such as bottom trawling, as well as more general ocean habitat degradation from human activity, is a severe danger not only to the health of fisheries stocks, but to the human populations who depend on them.


It is the task of the Environmental Committee to determine how best to approach the problem of international fisheries management.  Some groups have proposed establishing marine sanctuaries, within which fishing is prohibited, in an effort to allow populations to rebound.  Banning of especially destructive fishing techniques, or those which indiscriminately affect many species other than the target species, has also been proposed.  Establishing quotas for tonnage of fish caught per year is another possibility.  In all of these cases, the logistics of enforcement are difficult: the ocean is vast, and fishing vessels, while numerous, are widely dispersed, making direct supervision impossible.  Moreover, many nations have a significant economic stake in ensuring the success of their fishing fleets, and will seek to evade or otherwise ignore catch quotas.  Aquaculture, or “fish farming”, comprises a growing portion of the world’s total fish production, but is a technology in its relative infancy whose scope is limited to certain species and whose environmental impact is unclear.  And the overall health of the oceans, to which the viability of fish stocks is inextricably linked, is a concern—from mercury contamination of tuna to the vast floating archipelagos of plastic and other human garbage.  The Environmental Committee must consider what to recommend to nations for their own territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones, as well as what to recommend as measures applicable to international waters where no single state has the authority to act.

  • Grace.ackerman
    Grace.ackerman November 8, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Republic of India
    Grace Ackerman

    In 2014, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization 81.5 million tons of fish were harvested, and the rate is increasing. Despite the growth of marine fisheries, both the marine fishing industry and the aquaculture sector are satiated with issues. Primarily, fish stocks are difficult to monitor, and because of the underwater environment, the population can only be assessed indirectly. The FAO found that over 30% of the world’s fish stocks are being harvested at unsustainable rates and have not been improving. Additionally, fisheries have been underreporting their catches extensively; the underreporting is mostly due to the fish that are caught as bycatch that do not need to be reported and overfishing. As a result, the amount of real catches exceed the FAO’s estimate by 50%. Lastly, fishing techniques as well as human activity such as pollution are destroying the environment that not only marine life depends on, but human life as well. In 1982, the United Nations passed the Convention on the Law of the Sea was to promote maritime safety and protect the environment from marine pollution and environmental damage by ships. Furthermore, despite the fact that each region has its Regional Sea Conventions, some 108 governments and the European Commission have adopted the UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from land-based activities. With over 7,000 kilometers of coastline, fish contributes substantially to the domestic food security of India, bringing additional income to rural households, and to India’s exports. Therefore it is crucial that the international fisheries and the marine environment be protected.

    Although there are multitudinous issues affecting Indian marine fisheries, the most prevalent ones are the increase in fishermen and unregulated expansion of fishing fleets and fishing hours leading to overexploitation. India is a part of the century-old Indian Fisheries Act (1897), which penalizes the killing of fish by poisoning water and by using explosives, and the Environment Protection Act (1986) which is an umbrella act containing provisions for all environment related issues. India also supports the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act (1974) and the Wildlife Protection Act (1972). The government ruled that an authority should be constituted to protect the ecologically fragile coastal areas, sea shores, waterfront and other coastal areas. India is also part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which is a body of customs, treaties, and international agreements by which governments maintain order, productivity, and peaceful relations on the sea. Conservation efforts have been initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) such as the protection of endangered species and of habitats by means of national parks and sanctuaries including Coringa, Pulicat Lake, and West Sundarbans.

    Despite all of these organizations, India takes part of and the aforementioned efforts it is important that further steps be taken to fix the issue of international fishery management. The Fisheries Act of 1897 needs to be revamped or even replaced to coincide with current issues. The Indian government has taken measures to decrease the amount of overexploited fish stocks such as conserving species and environments, forbiddance of destructive fishing methods, and reduction of bycatch. Additionally, all fishing vessels should be registered and issued with licenses to better regulate the number of fishing fleets. It is important that other countries are taking the same efforts in order to successfully improve fisheries. On a broader basis, India would support the formation of some sort of National Fisheries Policy concerning potential marine sanctuaries, the prohibition of certain fishing techniques, and establishing fishing quotas to reduce overfishing.

  • Jmpier
    Jmpier November 9, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Jill Pierangeli

    Over 30% of the world’s fisheries are being harvested at biologically unsustainable rates, creating a large, global problem. Fish stocks are difficult to accurately monitor, and underreporting runs rampant due to illegal fishing operations and bycatches being left out of accounts. This leads to a falsely optimistic view of the fish population, and overfishing. Overfishing causes drastic economic problems. The UN must implement a solution to bring the fish population back to a sustainable and profitable level.

    As a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea, fishing is a crucial industry in Israel. Fishing trawlers are decimating the industry, catching young fish, dolphins, turtles, and killing approximately 200 sea creatures for every successfully caught fish, totaling over 100,000 protected animals annually. There has also been a 25% increase of dead fish being thrown back in the sea in the past 15 years. These large trawler companies are hurting local fishermen by leaving nothing left to fish. 80% of Israeli fishermen do not regularly go out at sea anymore due to decreasing income. Contrastingly, in Turkey, fishing regulations are much more strict, and consequently there are six times as many fish along the Turkish coast than the Israeli coast. Such reforms are the goals of the Society for Protection of Nature who have launched a “fishing responsibly” campaign (working with EcoOcean Marine Research and Education, the IsraFish Association, the Israel Fishing Forum, Israel Sport Fishing and members of the Israeli Project for Maintenance Management of Fishing in the Mediterranean Sea). This campaign calls for reform, mainly improving conditions for local fishermen and minimizing destructive fishing methods. Agriculture Ministry Officials Lipman, Zandberg, and Henin support the SPNI’s campaign. These reforms could increase fishermen’s profit by 40%, as well as a 40% increase in fish catches of larger and better quality fish. We are currently taking after Turkey’s strict reforms and working on our own domestic fishing policies, but we hope to soon spread them to other nations.

    Action must be taken to protect the industry from decimation due to overfishing. Israel advocates for the UN to restrict destructive trawling practices during June, July, and August (spawning season) and implement stricter enforcement of regulations. This break from fishing will allow time for proper fish reproduction, bringing up the population and health of the fish. In Israel, the estimated cost to execute these reforms would be eight to ten million, going towards compensating trawling companies for lost business, enforcement, and publicity. We would like to follow in Turkey’s example of a strict policy. A resolution with the mentioned reforms would lead to a healthier, more profitable fishing industry worldwide.

  • Abbylawrence
    Abbylawrence November 11, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Abigail Lawrence

    Fishing remains a significant aspect of a multitude of nations’ economies. Although statistics show that fishing is stable, the fish population has continued to decrease annually. Over 31.4% of fish breeds are harvested at unsustainable rates. In addition, the population of underfished breeds continually decrease as the rate of fishing increases. Issues such as falsifying reports, illegal fishing, and inability to enforce laws plague any action to protect the ocean and its fish populations. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s estimate from producers’ reports are greatly exceeded by the actual amount that was fished which causes an inaccurate view of global fisheries’ health. Maintaining fishing at such high rates will not only deplete the fish populations but also destroy ocean environment which makes it even harder for the fish population to rebound.

    As a landlocked country, Afghanistan is largely unaffected by the negligent actions of global fisheries. However, we realize that prolonged abuse to the ocean environment and overfishing will have dire effects on environmental health and any population that relies on fish.
    Additionally, the limited access to water for many seasons of the year further restrict the availability of fish and the opportunity for any commercial fishing. Any policies enacted to combat overfishing by fisheries will also have little to no impact on Afghanistan’s economy or its imports. Policies regulating how and where to fish have been instituted by the Afghan Legislature; however, they remain relatively unenforced. Realizing the worldwide consequences that depleted fish populations and destroyed ocean environments will have, Afghanistan has accepted a Country Programming Framework that has led to an alliance with the FAO. In addition, Afghanistan along with other United Nation member states, have adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which focuses on conservation and sustainable use of resources. Although the issue has been addressed in prior agreements, further action is required to stabilize the fish population and maintain an equilibrium.

    Afghanistan proposes further action to increase regulation of international fisheries. Such regulations should include quotas, limitations of where fishing may occur, and further regulating of the fishing methods to only those that are least harmful to the environment. Penalties for breaking such regulations and doctoring fishing reports should be instituted. In addition, countries must strictly enforce such regulations and rules in order to produce progress in increasing fish populations. Afghanistan is able to increase stricter enforcement of regulatory policies pertaining to fishing; however, Afghanistan is not in the position to provide large amounts of funds to finance change. Resolutions taking regulatory action for international fisheries are necessary to protect the biodiverse ecosystem that exists in the ocean and maintain sustainable economic activities.

  • Priya.patel
    Priya.patel November 12, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Kingdom of Norway
    Priya Patel

    Over the last few decades, fisheries’ unsustainable production has caused environmental damage and depletion of the fish stocks. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported 81.5 million tons in global fisheries production, however 30% of global fisheries are being harvested at an unsustainable rate.These actions today put future generations dependent on fisheries at risk. Regulations are not as strict as they should be due to factors, such as underreporting of fish catches, that distort the data and allows for an inaccurate optimistic view of the health of global fisheries to be adopted. Additionally, considering the vastness and unfamiliarity of the ocean, it is very difficult to accurately monitor fish stocks and enforce supervisory measures.

    With over 83,000 km of coastline and around 2 million km² of sea under its jurisdiction, Norway is one of the world’s leading producers of marine fisheries and aquaculture products. Fisheries play a key social and economic role and promote settlement and employment along the Norwegian coast. Norway places high priority on environmental considerations and fish health and welfare in their fisheries sector. We promote sustainable and environmentally friendly fishery management through the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. As a progressive country in environmental management, Norway became the first country in the world to establish a Ministry of Fisheries in 1946. The Norwegian fishing industry is highly regulated by quotas determined by recommendations from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and licensing requirements. Research about the marine environment and resources, as well as species interactions, is conducted by the Directorate of Fisheries and the Institute of Marine Research, which was established in 1900. As 90% of Norway’s fisheries harvest stocks are shared with other nations, international cooperation is vital to the Norwegian management regime. All Norwegian and foreign fishing vessels on Norwegian fishing waters are subject to strict controls and annual Coast Guard inspections. Fisheries outside of national economic zones are managed by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commision (NEAFC) in cooperation with coastal states. Norway was one of the first nations to sign and ratify the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in 22 November 2009. Norway is also Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.

    Norway supports efforts to regulate fishery production and combat unsustainable practices. We are engaged in working against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Quotas are implemented in our country, and they are set in cooperation with other countries such as Russia, France, Iceland, Greenland, and the EU. Norway recommends that the UN strictly enforce the international law laid down by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. Participation in cooperation with the FAO of the UN is also important in regulating fisheries. The UN could consider overseeing negotiation of agreements between countries regarding management regimes and quota distribution if necessary. The UN needs to step in to combat the growing threat posed by unsustainable fishery production internationally.

  • Rachelthomas04
    Rachelthomas04 November 13, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    United States of America
    Rachel Thomas

    Fisheries are fundamental to the world’s environment. Globally, more than 250 million people depend directly on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. Millions of people are employed in roles such as marketing and processing. Improving the biological sustainability of fisheries is vital to reducing hunger and poverty around the world. Although global marine fisheries production supposedly amounts to 81.5 million tons, the condition of the world’s fish stocks has not ameliorated. Underreporting catch numbers, lack of direct supervision, and pressure to meet quotas for commerce all plays a part in deterioration of international fisheries, by undermining international efforts to sustain the ecosystem, and creating unfair economic competition for fisherman.

    The United States is dedicated to maintaining a healthy and productive marine environment and ecosystem. As a major importer of seafood, the United States holds the responsibility of protecting its citizens by preventing illegal catch from entering international trade. Combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) is an international priority, as the problem costs millions of dollars per year. This type of fishing undermines the sustainability of the fishery and the communities dependent on them. The key to fighting IUU fishing is to eliminate the economic incentives that drive illegal fishing, and effectively monitor and enforce regulation. The Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is the main domestic fisheries legislation. Under the MSA, councils are required to develop and amend Fishery Management Plans, set annual catch limits, and develop and implement rebuilding plans. These councils are comprised of commercial and recreational representatives. A biennial process has also been implemented to identify states whose vessel engage in IUU fishing as well the prospect for action against other countries who engage in IUU fishing. In 2007, when limitations were implemented by the MSA, 41 domestic stocks were on the overfishing list. By 2015, only 11 of our stocks remained on the list. Today, nearly 90 percent of fisheries are maintaining harvest levels below their annual catch limits. Last year, four stocks left the overfishing list (high catch rate), and two additional stocks were rebuilt. In 2017, Columbia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Portugal took action to address their previously identified issues and now have a positive certification. On the behalf of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will continue to consult with countries to encourage positive action. The Port States Measures to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) is a critical aspect of the global fight to beat illegal fishing. The PSMA sets the global standard for which evaluations and regulations will be conducted, which reduces the probability of IUU fishing in international commerce. We have advocated for the adoption of this agreement, and believe that the PSMA will have the greatest impact if implemented globally.

    The United States proposes that other countries follow our example by creating, adopting, and enforcing policies to combat IUU fishing. These policies should include ideas about protecting fish habitats, enforcing international fishing agreements, establishing fishery management councils, and developing underutilized fisheries. Additionally, the United States recommends that the other eleven signatory states ratify the PSMA as an additional security measure against IUU fishing. The United States will continue to identify and consult with countries involved in IUU fishing in order to improve fishery management and enforcement. By taking these things into account, these actions will ameliorate the marine ecosystems and fisheries of the United Nations.

  • Morganr730
    Morganr730 November 14, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Committee
    Protecting International Fisheries
    The Republic of Uganda
    Morgan Russell

    Protecting international fisheries is imperative in order for humans to maintain a content state. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that global marine fisheries production is growing immensely with an upward trend. Despite that many nations admit the importance of conserving fish stocks within their territorial waters or the Exclusion Economic Zone, no regulations are in place to ensure the perseveration of fish stocks. The head of the United Nations Environmental Committee (UNEC), Erik Solheim, admits that “fisheries are the lifeblood of communities and economies the world over,” and they face threats from “overfishing, ecosystem damage and climate change is global as well.” Alarmingly, three out of every four stocks are overfished according to the European Union Commissioner for fisheries. This is a serious threat towards their sustainability. Fisheries are crucial to maintaining the ecological balance of the oceans. Oceans are essential to humankind because they provide over 50% of the world’s oxygen in the atmosphere and about 70% of the world is covered by oceans. The Republic of Uganda is richly endowed with natural water bodies; this results in fisheries supplying an abundance of jobs to the Ugandan people. Due to this, fisheries play a crucial role in the economy.

    Our country, according to FAO, produces up to “15,000 tonnes of fish from aquaculture, including production from small-scale fish farmers, emerging commercial fish farmers and stocked community water reservoirs and minor lakes”. In Uganda, an estimated 12,000 farmers are involved in aquaculture. Due to this, fisheries are essential to the Ugandan people. Without aquaculture, the increase in poverty, the worsening of the economy, and the increase in illness would be inevitable. We have implemented several acts, such as The Land Act of 1995 and The National Agriculture Research System Act of 2005. The Land Act of 1995 states the responsibility system for land ownership and legal rights of what can be done in and on one’s land. The Act also defines ownership of wetlands, swamps, and other shallow waters. The National Agriculture Research System Act of 2005 regulates fisheries and aquaculture research among other agriculture research areas. Although we are doing our best to protect our fisheries, we still need more support from other countries to further help the world.

    The Republic of Uganda wishes upon the rest of the UN members to learn from our efforts so they can be successful as well. Opposed to simply stripping away the environment of nonrenewable resources for personal benefit, the damages done by doing so need to be considered as well. All around the world, fisheries are being taken advantage of fisheries and are being destroyed. If other countries began valuing fisheries as we do, their agriculture and environmental levels will both improve. We would like to see more laws passed about the preservation of this prominent issue. If fisheries were stripped from our country, we would not be anywhere close to the level of success we have today. By following our example of using fisheries in a sustainable way, other economies will be able depend on them for decades to come too. Once the economy continues to improves more people would be able to become employed and, once out of unemployment, regain a proper lifestyle. Next, our country believes in economic cooperation along with maintaining a mutual economic goal. We urge the rest of the UN to unite with us as we work together to achieve maximum success. Collaborating allows for everyone’s ideas to be used together, an array of approaches and techniques on a topic, and more in depth research. Through collaboration, implementing policies about the preservation and laws regarding fisheries would be ideal. By repeating our actions the world will not only be a healthier place to live but a happier place too.

  • Ngrochoski
    Ngrochoski November 14, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Nataleigh Grochoski

    Fisheries prove to be a prominent issue around the world. About 200 million people rely on fish as a prominent food source, especially in the developing world. Overfishing is quickly depleting the food supplies of millions of people. Destructive fishing techniques worldwide are depopulating marine mammals and ecosystems. Illegal and unregulated fishing has also increased dramatically as fishermen try to avoid stricter regulations as a response to a decrease in catches and fish stocks. The 1995 United Nations Fish Stock Agreement conserves and protects straddling fish stocks and it also states that countries should cooperate in order to conserve and promote the prime utilization of fisheries within and beyond their economic zones. The agreement was not completely successful. Measurement data from the policing agencies has been lost, isn’t publically available, or isn’t getting to the correct people. Without this information it is hard to make well informed decisions about fishery regulations. Despite regulations being in place, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is still a prominent issue. Shark fishing is also lacking conservation measures because there is not currently enough information about them.
    Australia desperately needs assistance securing its maritime borders against illegal fishing and establishing a policy to protect Australia’s maritime resources from domestic and foreign threats. Australia currently has the world’s third-largest Exclusive Economic Zone, extending 200 nautical miles from Australia’s coast. These waters are reserved for fishing fleets, although they are not very productive. Australia’s waters do not have the nutrients to support large stocks of fish due to a lack of sufficient runoff from the landmass and upwelling. “In 2012–13, the Australian export value of fisheries products (edible and nonedible) declined by 4 percent ($52 million) to $1.18 billion in 2012–13” and “The total value of Australian imports of fisheries products (edible and non-edible) increased by 3 percent ($42 million) to $1.65 billion in 2012–13.”. The average Australian also eats about 140 servings of seafood per year making it a prominent food source throughout the country. Australia’s foreign fish stocks and marine environment are threatened by illegal foreign fishing which is causing pollution, overfishing, and quarantine risks. Some types of fish such as sharks, bluefin tuna, and tropical rock lobster have been largely affected by overfishing. This causes an imbalance in their population, removing predators and food sources of other species. The management of existing Australian fisheries is under a high degree of public scrutiny and the Australian public is highly dissatisfied with the current management of these fisheries. Only 30% of the public feel that the fisheries are being managed sustainably. Countries allied with Australia are increasing their protected maritime zones. The US president Barack Obama expanded an existing ocean reserve off Hawaii which created the world’s largest marine reserve in 2016. On top of that, he established a large marine park in the Atlantic Ocean. Some other countries including Chile, France, Kiribati, New Zealand, Russia and the UK created large areas where fishing is banned. There is a variety of related potential dangers to Australia’s fisheries and maritime protected zones in the form of illegal fishing. Illegal fishing has introduced disease and pests which can devastate Australia’s natural environment, aquaculture, and agricultural industries which affect the income of many people working in the industry.
    Australia has already established maritime laws and penalties for illegal fishing. Australia needs other countries to abide by these rules. Currently, Border Protection Command uses a wide variety of vehicles to secure its maritime borders by conducting surveillance missions. Australia needs the surrounding countries to contribute to the monitoring of Australia’s fisheries and protected maritime zones, including funding a public information campaign aimed towards Indonesian fishing communities about the consequences of illegally fishing in Australian waters. Australia is considering legislation to open up fishing in some of its protected maritime zones but the country is internally divided on the topic. An independent global study on fisheries in maritime protected zones should be conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The United Nations needs to make a formal recommendation on commercial fishing in protected waters and the establishment of global protected zones as Australia’s decision could have wide-reaching ramifications on SouthEastern Asia’s and the world’s fishery stock management policies.

  • Allysonsuandi
    Allysonsuandi November 14, 2017 Reply

    Country: Venezuela
    Committee: UNEP
    School: Williamston High School
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Allyson Suandi

    As members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it is the responsibility to protect the environment and to preserve biodiversity for the well being of mankind. Key to this is addressing the topic of protecting international fisheries. Countries rely on the fishing industry to enhance their development, and for many of these states, it is a vital part of their food and agriculture economies. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that as much as 50% of global fisheries gathered fish at an unsustainable rate for their ecosystems. If the UNEP does not come up with an adequate resolution, many global economies will plunge and aquatic ecosystems will be destroyed. The UNEP must work together as a committee, to make sure that we are able to adequately monitor and preserve the diversity and sustainability of our global fisheries.

    The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a proud member of the esteemed United Nations Environment Programme, values greatly its responsibility to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity on behalf of all peoples. Particularly important toward achieving this goal is the protection of international fisheries. For too long, western powers, acting without regard for the livelihoods of the peoples of the global south, have fished and fished and fished, destroying ecosystems, crushing local economies, and ultimately subjecting billions under their capitalistic behaviour. Venezuela hopes that the UNEP works together in this committee to preserve and protect the oppressed peoples of third countries. The Venezuelan people count upon the bounty of the seas to ensure the prosperity of the socialist state. Venezuela is the world’s fourth largest tuna producer. The Venezuelan economy rides on fisheries as it contributes to its people’s well being, as much of the jobs in the country go towards fishing. Venezuela has increased public awareness of improving biodiversity which has also helped the environment. However, Venezuela does not have a specific limit on fish stocks that take into account how much fish needs to be left in order to sustain the environment. As a result, Venezuela feels compelled to propose a protocol which will more accurately measure fish stocks, so that the damages inflicted upon the environment can be more accurately assessed and damages sought.

    Furthermore, Venezuela wholeheartedly would like to stand by and create a resolution that includes proper protection of the ecosystem. One solution that Venezuela would like to add onto a resolution is to implement a ban on fishing for endangered species for new industries. This will allow for the situation to not worsen anymore than its current state. The solution that Venezuela will write in a resolution is for fisheries to limit their catchings to an ecologically safe rate by using catch shares, which is a management system that allows fish stocks to grow while limiting the amount of fish catched. These catch levels should take into consideration how much fish there needs to be left over in order to support other fish, which will allow a steady flow of fish in the ocean and fish out of the ocean for many years. These shares will also limit certain countries from poaching too many fish from others. In certain areas, share licenses can be given to each industry, putting a limit on how much seafood they can catch. These limits will also allow fishermen to choose their own deadlines so they will not have to rush during the fishing season and catch seafood by using sustainable fishing methods.

  • Justemmanem
    Justemmanem November 14, 2017 Reply

    Country: Portugal
    Committee: Environmental
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Delegate: Emma Williams
    School: Williamston High School

    The major issue on the topic of international fisheries is that fish stocks are not increasing and fish are being harmed. This issue is supported by other problems like difficulty to monitor fish stocks, illegal or under-reported catches, and environmental damage due to certain forms of fishing such as bottom trawling as well as dangerous human activity. There is also a major issue with jurisdiction outside of a state’s Exclusive Economic Zone because currently no nation has jurisdiction to be able to regulate activity in this area or to enforce any laws. In 2001, 170,000 to 215,000 metric tons of fish were caught globally using bottom trawling techniques. Those numbers were only about .2% of of the total capture production which was reported by the FAO. Many fish were not being reported and were caught using harmful methods that could lead to species going extinct in the future. The United Nations must decide what actions to take or to not take in regards to the protection of fisheries and raising fish stocks.

    Portugal has an economy that relies on fishing industries heavily because of consumption rates and their below average GDP. They would be interested in resolving this matter in a way that would preserve their fishing economy but would also protect the fish so that they would be able to continue fishing in the future. Portugal was part of the ratifying of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement in 2016 which favoured conservation and taking precautionary measures based on available scientific data. Within the country itself, Portugal has permits set up for fishing boats and has made efforts to have less harmful forms of fishing used.

    To resolve these issues, Portugal would like there to be better enforcing any standards already in place, so as to ensure continued growth in their fishing industry and other country’s. They believe it would also be a good idea to have these standards applied to other water areas outside of jurisdiction to keep everything even. As a country they would be opposed to a plan that would cut off any main areas where fish are caught with marine sanctuaries or any plan that could limit the amount of fish they can catch. Portugal would expect to find allies in the other countries within the EU.

  • MccalmontK
    MccalmontK November 14, 2017 Reply

    Republic of Iraq
    Environmental Committee
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Keegan McCalmont

    Iraq’s position on fisheries is largely one of indifference, as given the geographic and economic characteristics of the country, fishing is not a large component of the nation’s economy or identity.

    While mostly unimportant, there are some points of concern within this subject. The most important aspect of this topic lies in the inaccuracy of the data currently available. If data is going to be collected, analyzed, and used to inform policy and legislation, we must insure that the data is in fact accurate. This data will be crucial in determining the sources and scale of possible problems. One such possible problem is contamination of fish products imported into Iraq from other countries. To insure the good health of citizens, we must insure that the products are safe to consume and come from an environment free of contaminants.

    Iraq is a country with very little involvement in fishing or fisheries, in fact the country does not export any products of its aquaculture. The fishing industry also constitutes a minuscule part of the economy with few fishing jobs that pay very little and are supplemented by additional occupations. However, given the importance of this topic to other countries, such as the US, Iraq is open to helping further discussion and not becoming an obstacle on the road to a solution.

    Iraq’s goals in this conference include:
    -Not spending undue time on the issue
    -Establishing an effective and accurate way of reporting the impact of fish production
    -Supporting allies in their attempts at solving issues

  • Trevorschantz
    Trevorschantz November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    People’s republic of China
    Trevor Schantz

    Protecting International Fisheries

    The oceans are getting closer to emptiness. The world has been aware of this issue for decades; yet, little to nothing has been done to try to reverse the effects of overfishing. At the current rate, the ocean will be out of fish in 2048. The situation can be broken down into three key issues. The first being that there is no truly effective way to monitor fishing stocks. The next issue being the drastic amount of underreporting that is taking place, the FAO estimates as much as 50%. The third issue present is the environmental damage that results from certain fishing techniques like use of poison and explosives. Protecting international fisheries is a pressing issue worldwide. With billions of people relying on fish for their livelihood, it’s a necessary a solution be reached soon.

    With a population of 1.4 billion, The People’s Republic of China accounts for nearly a third of the world’s annual fish consumption. China’s 14,500 kilometers of coastline, and rising population has made the Chinese seafood industry the world’s largest; however, recent difficulty finding fish in waters close to home has forced China to drift further out into the sea to maintain the fish and seafood supply for Chinese citizens. China has also begun investing in huge aquaculture projects in countries like Russia and Mauritania. The fact of the matter is that legislation worldwide is out of date on this issue. The most recent Chinese fishing act is 31 years old. Other countries have fishing legislation 100 years old. Even the UN has not had fish stock regulation since 1995. Clearly current fishing laws and regulations are very ineffective; therefore, the Chinese are greatly in favor of new discussions.

    The people’s republic of China’s solution on the matter was laid out at conference in June at the UN headquarters in New York. The Chinese government acknowledges the role it has played in the situation we find ourselves in, that being said, China has presented a comprehensive strategy that could surely work globally. The strategy or SDG as referred to at the UN conference in June by Lin Shan Qing, deputy director of China’s State Oceanic Administration, would allow for nations like China to share and improve fish farming, and fishing technologies with nations around the world. The Chinese fish farming industry is the largest on earth, sharing methods with other nations would allow for a more sustainable supply. Additionally, it would promote sustainable fish practices, develop and improve environmental protection, augment cooperation in Asian waters, improve the observation and monitoring of fish stocks, and “encouraging the active implementation of ecosystem-based management of oceans and coastal zones and the tasks of coastal rehabilitation and conservation (Lin Shan Qing)”. The People’s Republic of China recognizes this is a big plan and will take many years to implement, but implementing a strategy like this would not only provide immediate assistance, but provide long term sustainability as well.

  • Matthybels
    Matthybels November 15, 2017 Reply


  • Mariapacifco
    Mariapacifco November 15, 2017 Reply

    November 14th, 2017
    SUBMITTED TO: United Nations Environmental Programme
    FROM: Republic of Chad
    SUBJECT: Protecting International Fisheries

    The effects of overfishing at rapid rates will cause destruction to fisheries all over the world, including in lakes and oceans. The problem of inaccurate numbers produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), due to illegal fishing and other factors, is that the world doesn’t have sufficient data knowing the true extent of the problem of overfishing and damage of fisheries. No matter how strict the laws are to prevent overfishing and reduce illegal activity, the means of enforcing are limited. Whether it’s a lack of human, material, or financial efforts, without enforcement, there is no possible way that the FAO will ever be able to receive accurate numbers for the activities that hurt fisheries to be reduced.
    Though Chad has very limited area for fishing, Chad has experienced first hand the effects of depleted access to fish. The majority of the fishing done in Chad is in Lake Chad, which is shared between Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger. Lake Chad is drying up and has been threatened because of population growth, oil production and increasing food needs. This area is protected by the Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad which creates regulations to ensure the sustainable reduction of the poverty of the populations living in the Basin that live off the fish. The commission needs support and money to protect the people the of the basin from famine and some economic growth. The total amount of fishing the lake can support a year without the depletion of fish stocks is about 180,000 tons per year.
    Chad has signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) which defines territorial waters and provides guidelines on passage on other territorial water. It prohibits fishing and pollution on the territorial waters. Article 62, subclause 4, gives generalized fishing requirements that all states should abide to.
    How do we regulate fishing, even though there is such a vast area to cover, especially in lakes and oceans? And how do we support these regulations? These are questions that are needed to be answered in the UNEP committee. Chad is trying to accomplish this with the Commission but lack of resources to enforce has enabled recovery and has witnessed the decline of Lake Chad.
    The majority of Chad is desert, but that doesn’t mean Chad cannot support other nations that rely on fishing and protect their industry. Whether in a small scale, such as lake or river, or large scale, like the ocean, fishing creates jobs and gives income to the economy. As the United Nations, we should support all nations and work together to find a solution.

  • Roygraboskea
    Roygraboskea November 15, 2017 Reply

    November 14th, 2017
    SUBMITTED TO: United Nations Environment Programme
    FROM: Republic of Botswana
    SUBJECT: Protecting International Fisheries

    The delegation of Botswana recognizes the urgent need to approach the problem of the regulation and management of international fisheries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 81.5 million tons of fish were caught in 2014, a figure which the FOA describes as stable. Despite the relatively constant rate of incoming fish, however, the global fish stocks have not improved. The FOA has also found that over 30% of global fisheries are not being harvested at sustainable rates, and there is concern that the FOA’s results might not be as correct as they have hoped, due to the significant underreporting from the fisheries. The delegation of Botswana also recognizes that many nations are aware of the importance of conserving fish stocks and creating effective solutions to overfishing within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, not all nations have the appropriate means to do so. Another problem on top of that is outside those Exclusive Economic Zones, no state has the authority to enforce the regulations others have put in place.

    Protecting and regulating international fisheries is very important, especially to countries where fish aren’t common. Botswana has shown significant interest in aquaculture and started to receive attention during the 1980’s and 1990’s through the ALCOM (Aquaculture for Local Communities Development Program sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Since Botswana is a landlocked nation, however, the citizens of Botswana must rely on fisheries to provide them with the needed nutrients and proteins fish provides. The delegation of Botswana would like to establish a system to help landlocked countries get working fisheries to provide the vital food many need, much like the ALCOM Program does for Botswana. According to the Fish Protection Regulations (chapter 36:02), adopted 23rd May 2008, Botswana already has laws and restrictions on fishing, including the requirement for a fishing license, restrictions on gill nets, and the conditions applicable to permit holders. It also establishes the penalties for catching fish without a license and other rules regarding the catching of fish.
    The delegation of Botswana would like to propose that the United Nations Environment Programme come up with a similar document to ours, establishing rules and regulations to be placed on fishing. This document should clearly state restrictions on elements that are vital to fishing, which is detailed in the above paragraph. The delegation of Botswana looks forward to coming up with a resolution that leads to better, healthier fishing.

    • Roygraboskea
      Roygraboskea November 23, 2017 Reply

      Anne Graboske, Botswana, Royal Oak High School, United Nations Environmental Programme

  • Zrosario002
    Zrosario002 November 15, 2017 Reply

    SUBMITTED TO: United Nations Environment Programme
    FROM: Republic of Namibia
    SUBJECT: Protecting International Fisheries
    Zoe Rosario

    Fisheries are an essential part of Namibia’s economy and provide food for populations of all countries. The fishing industry is the cause of approximately 260 million job worldwide. Due to this though, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, global per-capita fish consumption has hit an all-time high. Nearly ⅓ of commercial fish stocks are now over-harvested at rates that are biologically unsustainable. While the fishing industry plays a vital role in sustaining food security and providing jobs, these statistics can not be ignored when taking into account the suffering environment.
    Namibia understands the importance of the fishing industry quite well. Fisheries play a significant role in Namibia’s economy, with fish processing being a main industry; fish and fish products account for 25% of its main exports. Namibia has also faced the issue of decreasing fish populations in the past. Before gaining independence in 1990, Namibia’s waters dealt with under regulated industrial fishing. By 1990, the fish population was on the brink of collapse. These issues are in the past though. As previously mentioned, the fishing industry is a significant part of Namibia’s economy today. Despite that, how can we ensure the fish population doesn’t go down to biologically unsustainable rates worldwide? How can we prevent overfishing and bycatching? How do we address these issues without disrupting the economy?
    When writing a resolution to this topic it is important to take into account both economic and ecological outcomes. A good resolution will have a goal to protect biodiversity, and to conserve marine ecosystems. In addition to this, the resolution must not cause a significant decrease of jobs from the fishing industry due to it being such a key factor of the Namibian economy. Lastly, there should be no significant disruption of food security of any country, especially those who rely heavily on the fishing industry.
    When Namibia faced similar issues as a young country, it put into place the Marine Resources Act in 2000. This act’s approach to fishing management is by calculating Total Allowable Catches annually, using the latest scientific methods. This method takes into account both the economy and ecology of Namibia. As a result, there was a noteworthy decrease in bycatch and illegal fishing.
    It is also important to note that “Life Below Water” is one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals. Implementing science-based management plans are among the targets of this goal by 2020, in which Namibia has executed through determining the Total Allowable Catch. Namibia strongly suggests adopting the Total Allowable Catch model in order to work toward achieving a worldwide scientific approach to fisheries management. In addition, the plan calls to “prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing” by 2020. If other countries adopt regulations and implement a system such as Namibia, there will be progress to achieving the goal of “Life Below Water”.
    In conclusion, despite the many issues regarding this topic, Namibia is confident that resolutions will be found. Namibia has faced these issues in the past and will look forward to accomplishing the adoption of policies that mirror our current progressive approach, and our value of marine conservation.

  • 18KuglerMa
    18KuglerMa November 15, 2017 Reply

    Country: Canada
    Committee: Environmental
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    School: Williamston High School
    Delegate: Madeline Kugler

    Protecting the world’s fisheries is a large part of the economy today. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has made efforts to help prevent the destruction of marine life and is in charge of distributing food to countries with a high starvation rate. Today, many countries like Peru, China, Japan, and the United States are responsible for the use of overfishing in the Pacific. Overfishing can impact the marine ecosystem by creating the growth of algae. Even more so today it is very difficult to monitor most fish stocks as well as the environments that they live in. Luckily, many people are creating innovative ways to preserve fisheries and wildlife like fish farms.
    Canada has done a remarkable job in helping to protect fish and their habitats. In 1977, Canada started the Fisheries Protection Program (FPP). The FPP is in charge of controlling fish and ocean regulations, but they also help to protect marine fish and their habitats. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has arrangements with certain federal agencies and provincial governments who determine whether fisheries are protected under the Fisheries Act. The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program provides funding to recreational fisheries and conservation groups undertaking fish habitat restoration activities. These activities help support the common long-term goal of enhancing the sustainability of Canada’s recreational fisheries. Canada is also very involved with fish farming. Canada farms shellfish and aquatic plants from fresh and seawater habitats. This provides direct and indirect economic benefits to many local and regional economies. Fish farming has been put in pace since 2015.
    Canada’s government protects 1.3% of their territorial waters. Canada’s federal Fisheries Minister, Hunter Tootoo, affirmed his commitment to meet an ambitious target of setting aside 5% of Canada’s oceans as marine-protected areas by next year and 10% by 2020. Although with Canada’s multiple fish protection organizations to help with marine life, there is also a large issue involving salmon. The DFO has failed to make important decisions to protect salmon, which include reducing fishing for depleted chinook salmon. In August, the numbers of Fraser River chincook salmon were so dire that the DFO had to close the fishery. One of Canada’s policy analysts, Jeffery Young, said that one way to help the salmon is if the government takes decisive action to help with salmon recovery and also restrict fishing or removing salmon from their fish farms.
    Restoring habitat protection to the Fisheries Act would definitely be a step in the right direction for salmon conservation as well as to other marine life. The Fisheries Act talks about the conservation and protection of fish habitat essential to sustaining freshwater and marine fish species. It also stops anything that would prevent any work or undertaking that would cause the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat. (Canada would like to spread our progress and use it to help other countries that are in need to protect fisheries).

  • Matthybels
    Matthybels November 15, 2017 Reply

    Country: Chile
    Committee: UNEP
    School: Vicksburg Highschool
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Matt Hybels

    In 2014 81.5 million pounds of fish where reported to the FAO, and over the past years there has been nothing but a gradual incline. As the country of Chile, we are the 7th largest producer of commercial fish in the world, bringing in almost 4.5 million each year. We are strongly apposed to anti-fishing regulations.

    This being said, we do no tolerate the inaccuracy of data being reported. As a large player in commercial fishing, we take this at the utmost importance. The lack of sanctions on the fishing industry, is part of the problem. We need more regulation of the amount fish intake from these larger companies. They are the ones in the middle of the problem. They lie to the FAO, and get away with it. With only 86 million pounds of fish being reported, and a rough estimate of 130 million actual income of fish. This is ridiculous. We need to put a stop to this.

    The other possible way to fix this without crippling the industry, is have harsher penalties for those caught telling lies to the FAO. The main issue with this is how to prove that are in fact not telling the truth. But we the country of Chile have a few ideas to solve this. This includes random weigh-ins, while they may inconvenience business, but that is a small price to pay to stop the extinction of the fish local to chile.

    Chile’s goals:
    To not kill of the fishing industry in Chile
    To stop the lies to the FAO
    To save the fish

  • Alexpadfield
    Alexpadfield November 15, 2017 Reply

    Date: November 1st, 2017
    SUBMITTED TO: The United Nations Environmental Programme
    FROM: Republic of Cuba
    SUBJECT: Protecting International Fisheries

    Fisheries are being mismanaged internationally. Overfishing in any given body of water has become prominent in many nations today. Many populations depend on these fisheries that yield a variety of things, contributing to the issue of overfishing and mismanagement. Oftentimes, the issue of overfishing is accompanied by illicit fishing, causing a large amount of environmental damage. Unsustainable fishing has become too common, and must be prevented. It is the task of the United Nations Environmental Programme to take action and resolve this issue.

    Commercial fishing provides a great amount of services such as jobs, food sources, and international trade to many nations globally. The nation of Cuba recognizes and understands the importance of fishing, as this practice is extremely important to its own economy. In order to proceed in resolving the issue of protecting international fisheries, a series of questions first needs to be addressed. In what ways can enforcing legislation pertaining to sustainable fishing-such as total allowable catch- be diplomatically approached? How will the fact that some nations are more dependent on the practice of fishing than others be factored into the final resolution? In what ways can nations enforce sustainable fishing rates? As a common result of illegal fishing and overfishing is environmental degradation, how can current damage be repaired and how can further damage be mitigated?

    A cohesive resolution will include incentives and established legislation/programs to help answer the previously stated questions. The creation of marine management programs should be included in the final resolution. The Republic of Cuba has programs such as SOS Pesca that have been prominent in the process of regulating local fisheries. Such programs will be beneficial internationally, as they allow local community members participation in the regulation process. SOS Pesca is a community-based management program that allows members of fishing communities to participate in the management of fisheries and marine areas, working towards a shared vision of sustainable fisheries. The enforcement of science-based catch limits should also be included in a resolution. As overfishing is prominent, further, harsher enforcement of catch limits should be imposed in order to control fishing rates. To repair current damage made to marine environments, recovery plans for species affected by environmental degradation should be established in a resolution. Recovery plans should include aspects such as priority species, measures taken to aid in the recovery process, and precautions to be taken in the future so as to not further damage species.

    Strengthening networks between international fishing communities is an extremely important aspect in terms of reaching global sustainability. The potential to reach a universal solution is large. Working as an international community, a comprehensive resolution can be reached. The Republic of cuba looks forward to working with its fellow global community to reach a solution to the issues faced with the United Nations environmental Programme today.

    • Alexpadfield
      Alexpadfield November 22, 2017 Reply

      Date: November 1st, 2017
      SUBMITTED TO: The United Nations Environmental Programme
      FROM: Republic of Cuba
      SUBJECT: Protecting International Fisheries
      Name: Alex Padfield

    • Alexpadfield
      Alexpadfield November 22, 2017 Reply

      Delegation: Cuba
      School: Royal Oak High School
      Name: Alexandra Padfield

  • Amoncman
    Amoncman November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Lao People’s Democratic Republic
    Anthony Moncman

    In recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of fish that international fisheries have reported caught. Fish has been in record supply in years past, specifically 2014 where there were record high fish catches as much as 73,935.56 kilograms of aquatic life, getting to the point where global fish populations and environments may be negatively affected. This partnered with the fact that many such fisheries may be underreporting the true numbers of their total supply may be very harmful for years to come.
    Being a landlocked nation, Lao PDR has been less active in the issues concerning the state of the international fisheries. Despite this fact Laos is very concerned about how well these international fisheries are being regulated and maintained. Even though there are increasing controversies about the state of international fisheries they are hard to maintain at a stable rate. With a problem of such magnitude as this issue it is extremely necessary to take immediate action in order to address the issue at hand. Two years prior to this Lao People’s Democratic Republic had started a draft of the legal framework required to regulate the international fisheries, resulting in a draft of a new development of fisheries and other aquaculture for more development for the government.
    Lao People’s Democratic Republic approves of stronger regulations of international fisheries. Laos condemns the act of underreporting by the international fisheries. With initiative by the United Nations as well as our own country, these policies should be enforced in the coming years.

  • TaraPorterfield
    TaraPorterfield November 15, 2017 Reply

    Topic: International Fisheries
    Country: Tajikistan
    School: Royal Oak ROMUN
    Delegate: Tara Porterfield

    Fisheries are underreporting the amount of fish they catch. This is letting fisheries over fish, harming the global economy and ocean life world wide. Although some countries are changing their ways, others aren’t due to resource limitations or economic drought.

    Tajikistan is a landlocked state, therefore it doesn’t believe in strict regulations of fisheries. However it does believe that regulations need to be made, but the countries most affected by these issues should be the ones deciding regulations. Tajikistan also believes that the regulations should deal with agriculture to help countries that rely on fishing so that they have another export that helps their economy. However, they do not wish to be greatly affected by this regulation

    Tajikistan would like to have countries greatly affected by this regulation to band together and help with this issue, due to it being a landlocked state it can’t say much about this topic, but it can support and encourage allies and bordering countries into following regulations. However, the regulations have to fit these criteria: It has to support the United Nations milestones for sustainable development, protect sovereignty of each individual state and, safeguard the economies of countries dependant on fisheries

    In conclusion Tajikistan wishes to see a resolution that encourages sustainable development, meaning not only will it improve the environment but, it will also improve the economy.

  • Jessica_Robach
    Jessica_Robach November 15, 2017 Reply

    Country: Germany
    Committee: Environmental
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Delegate: Jessica Robach
    School: Williamston High School

    The fishing industry has proven to be profoundly unsustainable for the environment on a global scale. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that more than 30% of all international fisheries were harvesting at biologically unsustainable rates. The FAO has also concluded that the problem at hand may not be fully represented by the current statistics. A statement issued by the organization showed a correlated increase in the percentage of unsustainably harvested fisheries of more than 50%. This is due to the alarming fact that many of the FAO’s current numbers are subject to underreporting. While we acknowledge that the profits of the fisheries industry positively impact the economic well being of many nations, it is imperative to note the drastic environmental repercussions that unsustainable harvests can cause. Current practices can result in bottom trawling, ocean habitat degradation, and the endangerment of fish populations. This in turn threatens people throughout the world who depend on the fish as a food source. Thus, it is crucial that a solution be implemented that preserves both economic prosperity and environmental protection.
    The delegation of Germany strongly promotes the belief that the fisheries industry can only have a stable future if practices are conducted in a sustainable manner. In Germany, aquaculture is a relatively small industry, practiced only in a few specifically suited areas. Although this is not a prominent industry within Germany, the delegation recognizes the economic importance it holds to a multitude of regions throughout the world. The Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture (FMCPFA) is the authority on fisheries and aquaculture at the federal level in Germany. The primary mission of this governmental organization is to draft policies and guidelines that promote environmentally conscious fishery and aquaculture practices. The delegation also looks very favorably upon the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO 1995) and strongly supports the policies outlined within it.
    It is imperative that the delegation of Germany works alongside the global community to ensure the implementation of environmentally sustainable fishery practices. The delegation plans to employ efforts not only to protect the economic benefits, but also to significantly mitigate the environmental repercussions resulting from fisheries and aquaculture. These efforts will facilitate and promote technical, financial and other cooperation in conservation of fisheries resources and fisheries management and development. This can be achieved by governmental consultation, allocation of additional resources, implementation of policies, and enforcement if necessary. Further correspondence with the European Union will encourage countries to regulate quotas with increased intervention. Principles can be established with several delegations in the accordance with relevant rules of international law pertaining to the subject. The delegation plans to employ governmental organizations such as FMCPFA to address the domestic affairs of fisheries, and calls upon the international community to uphold sustainable practices across the globe.

  • Joeheitmeier
    Joeheitmeier November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Argentine Republic
    Joe Heitmeier

    Fisheries are fundamental to the success of many nation’s economies. While global marine fisheries production remains constant at 81.5 million tons, 30% of global fisheries are being harvested at unsustainable rates. Illegal fishing operations are prevalent, fish stocks are difficult to monitor, and underreporting of fish catches leads to an unwarrantedly optimistic view of global fisheries health. In addition, ocean habitats are being degraded through human activity and damaging fishing methods such as bottom trawling. Many nations have recognized the importance of preserving fish stocks within their waters, but not every country has means or will to enforce solutions to the issue.

    As a country that borders the South Atlantic Ocean, rich marine resources and an expansive continental shelf are found in the Argentine Republic (thereafter Argentina). The Patagonian Marine Ecosystem is one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, and fish that come from it, especially the Argentine hake, have ranked first in total catches in recent decades. The Argentine hake fishery includes more than 50% of Argentinian fishing vessels and provides 60% of the total jobs in the fisheries sector. However, due to overfishing, the fish population is decreasing and has resulted in an annuals loss of US$ 11-77 million. A “no fishing zone” was created in 1997 to conserve hake nursery grounds, and bottom trawls were also forbidden in this area. Since 1999, the Federal Fisheries Council has set an annual total allowable catch (TAC). However, due to lack of compliance and ineffective surveillance, the overfishing epidemic has only worsened; total recorded catches exceeded the TAC by 87% in 1999 and 93% in 2000. In the Rio de la Plata region, Argentina and Uruguay have established a Common Fishing Zone (ZCP) which has a TAC that is set under the jurisdiction of the Treaty of Rio de la Plata and its Maritime front.

    Argentina proposes further measures to prevent overfishing and protect international fisheries. Such measures should include restrictions on where commercial and recreational fishing is allowed, quotas on the number of fish that can be caught, and regulation of fishing methods to ensure that the methods used aren’t harmful to marine ecosystems. A strict policy must be enforced in order to ensure proper surveillance and control of fishing habits. The threat that overfishing poses to the fishing industry must be put to an end.

  • BradenP
    BradenP November 15, 2017 Reply

    SUBMITTED TO: United Nations Environment Programme
    FROM: Russian Federation
    SUBJECT: The Environmental Impact of Mining
    Braden Porterfield

    The danger sea life is facing is astronomical. 39 species (3.2 percent of North America’s freshwater fish population) and 18 subspecies have gone extinct in the last 10 years. In order to comply with United Nations guidelines for sustainable development, there must be a change in approach to harvesting that doesn’t decrease the income generated by sealife.

    Russia has banned harvesting some endangered species of sea life. This type of national awareness is what’s needed on an international level. Russia has been a hive of innovation for years, and will continue to work to expand knowledge on aquaculture. Our scientists have provided the world with knowledge of genetic engineering and aquaculture.

    As a committee we have a responsibility to the environment, and a responsibility to the countries who rely on them as a natural resource . Thankfully for us, Fish are a renewable resource, and we have the means to harvest them in a sustainable way. It would be wise to move away from the idea of strict economic regulations on countries who fish more so they can keep their economy afloat. A much more effective method exists. Incentivizing countries to advance technologically will encourage sustainable development in its best form; economic growth that isn’t harmful to the environment.

    In committee it is of utmost importance that we pass a resolution that respects national sovereignty and encourages economic growth. Our goals of development can be met without undermining the economy of fish-dependant nations

  • Cmacher21
    Cmacher21 November 15, 2017 Reply

    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Submitted to: The United Nations Environmental Programme
    Country: The Federal Republic of Nigeria
    Delegate: Colin Assenmacher

    With the extreme and rapid growth of our population, food supply across the globe has been forced to expand. Since the end of World War II, the overall catch from fisheries has increased by more than 70 million tons. Nearly 4% of today’s food consumption is some form of fish. This immense increase in the demand for fish and the resulting catch has also brought with it a slew of problems. One of the key issues that has arised is the drastic and alarming rate in which the population of certain fish species are decreasing. Many scientists who have examined the issue believe that a major cause for the decrease in fish species’ populations is due to bycatch. Bycatch, is when fish of the non-target species, or fish that were not intended to be caught, get trapped in fishing nets and brought aboard the vessels. These fish are than killed or in most cases released back into the ocean, but the damage is already done and many do not survive. Many attempts have been presented to solve these pressing issues but two main areas need to be addressed: enforcement and international uniformity.

    While the fishing industry of Nigeria may not be its largest economic sector, or its largest environmental focus, it is still a vital part of our nation. Over 530 miles of our nation border the Indian ocean, which allows for the populous cities in the region to engage in fishing. Without the economic benefit that these fisheries bring, an even larger economic strain would be placed on the Nigerian people during this time of already extreme financial crisis. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), acts towards creating self sustaining fish production and research into the fisheries within Nigeria.

    The protection of of international fisheries is an issue with many forms and can be approached from a multitude of angles. Nigeria hopes that whichever solution is reached is one that allows for all nations to still enforce their own regulations within their Exclusive Economic Zone. Outside of these zones, a common regulation needs to be put in place that would allow for fish populations across the globe to rebuild. This regulation needs to be a collaboration and cooperative effort by all nations in order to ensure that no nations will neglect these policies, despite the lack of enforcement. Overall, Nigeria hopes an international set of regulations can be reached by all nations in order to help prevent future damage to our oceans before the damage is irreversible.

  • JaredJohnson
    JaredJohnson November 15, 2017 Reply

    Country: France
    Committee: UNEP
    Delegate: Jared Johnson

    As one of the oldest sectors in the European Union, and having the second largest maritime area, aquaculture is very important to the country of France. France understands the economic and the environmental importance of fishing and is concerned with unsustainable fishing practices. As a member of the Safe Ocean Network, France is very concerned with illegal international fishing and recognizes that illegal fishing is costing the global economy billions of dollars, causes environmental degradation, and jeopardizing the communities and people that depend on aquaculture. It is France’s belief that one of the most effective ways of constructing a sustainable marine environment is to decrease the activity of illegal fishing. Methods that would decrease the amount of illegal fishing would include, globally tagging vessels that commit illegal fishing, which let other countries no what vessels are and are not allowed to fish, and enforcement of vessel monitoring systems and automatic identification systems that would allow port inspectors to view if vessels are fishing in the correct places, or France would also be in favor of expanding and creating marine protected areas, that would limit the amount of fishing in certain areas and create buffer zones to decrease the ecological impact of fishing and to maintain a stable population of fish species, as well as to preserve biodiversity. France also uses and supports methods such as recirculated systems, purse sensing and hook lining. These methods are meant to reduce the amount of bycatching while maintaining a health catch rate of fish. France is looking forward to collaborating with other countries to help solve the problems of the international fishing community and taking steps to a more sustainable, and progressive world.

  • HeatherSteeby
    HeatherSteeby November 15, 2017 Reply

    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Country: Sweden
    Heather Steeby

    Sweden has operations in two large fisheries, The Baltic Sea and The West Coast Fisheries. Sweden is in support for the following United Nations policies: the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), FAO Conference Resolution 15/93, the UN agreement of 1995 (Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks), and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries 4/95. Swedish policy remains that the following are necessary for protecting fisheries: creating a balance between fishery resources and fleet capacity, increasing profitability in the fisheries sector, promoting employment in rural areas associated with the fisheries sector, decreasing the negative environmental impact of fishing, ensuring environmental sustainability and sustainable natural fish stocks. Sweden also supports the designation of of protected marine sites across the world the would not allow, or would severely limit fishing within the reserve. Sweden is not supporting however a total ban on fishing, we support the philosophy of moderation. We want a comprehensive proposal that would maintain the sovereignty of nations, and protect the fishing industry from over exploitation, or over protection from this body. We would also like to call upon nations in underdeveloped regions to promote sustainable development of their fisheries as well as encouraging more developed nations to reform their fisheries to encourage sustainable practices across the board. We would like to encourage the peaceful development of these sectors internationally so that there may be cooperation with this body and between countries, while respecting national sovereignty. Sweden encourages the increase of sustainable fishing with, respect to national sovereignty and the environment.

  • avatar image
    Kacie Rispler November 15, 2017 Reply

    Committee: Environmental
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Country: Saudi Arabia

    Our country occupies 80 percent of the Arabian Peninsula, with a length of coast along the Red Sea and the Gulf. Of our total of 7,572 km coastline, roughly 2,400 km is available for aquaculture development along the Red Sea in the west and the Arabian Gulf in the east. This makes the us a rich source of a wide range of fish and other marine products.
    Due to the excellent environment for fish farming, the Ministry of Agriculture has identified aquaculture as a priority economic sector. Aquaculture projects in our country are either inland projects, established within agriculture projects or close to them, or coastal projects located along the Red Sea coast. The Department of Aquaculture is responsible for issuing licenses and for setting-up operations, but because aquaculture is relatively new in the country, there are not many rules and regulations governing the sector. The main goal we have in our fishery policy is to promote the sustainable productivity of local fish stocks in order to ensure a continuous fish supply. As part of these overall policy objectives, protection of the marine environment is also a major government priority.
    Currently we are part of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which assistance us in fish farming as part of the four top priorities. Some other countries have proposed establishing marine sanctuaries, within which fishing is prohibited, in an effort to allow populations to rebound. Another is banning of especially destructive fishing techniques. Since aquaculture is a three-decadal activity with gaining momentum for the past fifteen years in our country, its contribution to the national economy is not yet significant. Even though it is only a small part of our nation’s economy we still think those are all good idea and would be on board with any of them.

  • Kuhlmann27
    Kuhlmann27 November 15, 2017 Reply

    Committee: UNEP
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Country: South Korea
    Hannah Kuhlmann

    In 2014 over 80 billion fish were harvested. The rate has increased ever since. There are many problems with fishing industry that South Korea wants to improve. The FAO did a study and found that more than 30% of of fish stocks are being harvested at an unsustainable rate, this rate has not shown any improvement. This proves that there are problems in the fishing industry. To add to that, many fisheries do not report all of the fish that they catch so they can “meet the requirements” even though they are catching a lot more. At the rate that things are going, fish could easily go extinct. This is a great example of tragedy of the commons. Most fisheries are taking complete advantage of the open oceans. This public resource, fish, has been over harvested by companies that have their mindset on money and not on the environment. These fisheries do not understand that harvesting one species has the potential to ruin the whole food web. Another problem with fisheries is that they are not only harvesting fish. Whether it is intentional or not, they also harvest other animals. Thousands of dolphins a year lose their live to fisheries and the same goes for sharks. This number may not seem big, but with Japan killing these almost extinct animals it is a big number.
    The nation of South Korea wants to change this issue. We believe that the Fishery Act of 1897 needs to be replaced or changed a lot. It needs to ensure that fisheries follow the rules and they need to have great consequences if they do not.

  • Calvinwatry
    Calvinwatry November 15, 2017 Reply

    Republic of Colombia
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Calvin Watry, Roeper School

    Colombia understands the importance of having sustainable fisheries. Being a country with a very diverse population of fish species, Colombia has taken multiple steps to promote sustainable solutions towards the problem of over-fishing. Colombia (NAFA) has established a committee called the National Authority of Fisheries and Aquaculture to better regulate and help fisheries across the nation, from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean. This committee is also used to better penalize illegal fisheries, and to guide fisheries to a sustainable future both economically and environmentally. Environment conscientiousness is an ideal that Colombia considers on multiple occasions and Colombia is working on making the agreements decided on in Paris regarding climate change become law in the nation.
    International fisheries, presently, are known to use indiscriminate ways of catching fish, polluting the area around the fishing site, and are known to give fish stock numbers that do not include the amount of discarded fish. Fisheries knowingly will travel outside a nation’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone so that the fisheries can fish without regulations from the nation nearest to the fishing site. A proposal for a committee of the UN to focus on international fishing, and specifically focus on the environmental aspects of these fisheries and the sustainability of these fisheries is needed, similar to the NAFA. This proposed committee also must have a way of confirming the fish stock numbers that these international fisheries produce, and the proposed committee should enforce that international fisheries must report their total stock numbers, what types of fishing technologies they use to catch fish, and the amount of “bycatch” (marine animals caught then discarded) so that the committee can monitor how successful these fisheries are, how efficient they work, and their environmental impact.

  • ACalderwood
    ACalderwood November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Program
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Kingdom of Spain
    Alex Calderwood

    As the European Union’s biggest fisher, Spain has a lot of say in this problem. Spain produces 1.3 million tons of fish per year, 70% of it being from sea fishing, and the rest from farm fishing. It is important to note, however, that the amount of fish Spain farms- 290 thousand tons in 2015- has increased by 30% since 2013 and is looking to continue that trend. Spain’s farm fishing (aquaculture) output is also the highest in Europe. Spain’s fishing fleet contains nearly 10,000 ships, but that number has stayed stagnant for years. Since the year 2000, Spain has received 8 billion USD in European Union subsidies to fund its fishing program. Spain recognizes the problems that the committee has presented, which are: The difficulty in monitoring fish populations, the harms that bycatch causes, and the mass fishing’s environmental damage; however, The Kingdom of Spain would like to work to solve these problems in a way that does not greatly impede the production of the fishing industry, as it serves as a critical part of Spain’s economy. Spain, one of the vast majority of nations not involved in whaling, condemns the few nations that continued this environmentally barbarous practice.

    To start, Spain suggests that the current amount of checks and monitoring of commercial fishing is sufficient and need not change in the immediate future. To have the United Nations check the catch rates of independent fishing companies would be an imposition on national and economic sovereignty. However, with fishery yields continuing to plummet, we believe a broad-based environmental impact study of global fisheries must be initiated. Pending its report, Spain (and other nations) may need to reconsider their policies.

    A reason as to why the fishing industry should not be impeded is that it is central to the economy in many regions. For instance, fishing is the primary sector in the region of Galicia, and to restrict the fishing industry there would cripple its economy and send many of its citizens into poverty. If fishing regulations are to be implemented, the Kingdom of Spain would suggest incentivizing governments to give subsidies to aquaculture. Aquaculture represents an efficient method for the production of fish in the future that is both environmentally friendly and prevents illicit activity.

    With all this in mind, the Kingdom of Spain looks forward to working with all other nations in finding a solution to this problem.

  • Gabriellahernandez
    Gabriellahernandez November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Program
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Gabriella Hernandez

    It is our duty as human beings inhabiting this earth, to protect our oceans and everything in them. In the recent years, fisheries in number have been increasing and the amount of fish have been decreasing. At the alarming rate of global warming and overfishing, the ocean could be empty of fish by 2048. The problem has also been affected by the inaccurate numbers given by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), affected by illegal fishing and other things that then shadow the real problem of overfishing and the affect of fisheries around the world.

    Algeria has a coastline on the northwest part of Africa. Although it had a coastline of over 1,644 km, most of Algeria’s economic efforts are focused on hydrocarbons. In February of 2016, the EU began to access a plan that would regulate the fisheries off the coast and open a new wing of the Algerian economy. This may lead to the diversification of the economy, and improve the overall living standards with providing new jobs and sources of food for algerian citizens. Algerian Executive Decree No.04-373 of 21 November 2004, states that stipulating the conditions and procedures for granting permits to create an aquaculture farm. This regulates the amount of permits given out to citizens who want to start a fishery, but it would be under heavy regulation with the fish it can catch, keep and sell.

    Algeria can create more laws relating to regulate the Fisheries, regards to net fish caught, the endangerment of certain species of fish and biodiversity hotspots located in that part of the ocean. Improving networks between international fisheries is an important detail in reaching global management efforts. Algeria could team with other countries, and reach a solution together. Algeria would like to continue the development of fisheries under certain economic reasons while still improving global wildlife on land and in the ocean.

  • Sukirajan
    Sukirajan November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Republic of Honduras
    Suki Rajan

    Industrial fisheries have spread all over the world, and can now be found anywhere from the coastlines of the Northern hemisphere to islands in South Asia. As the human population continues to grow exponentially, the need for food also grows. In effect, pressure on fish populations has been escalating for years. According to the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report, the proportion of overexploited or depleted stocks has increased from 10 percent in 1974 to 29.9 percent in 2009. Unfortunately, the rapid growth of fisheries has lead to overfishing, environmental destruction, resource depletion and pollution. Clearly, the environment will not be able to be sustained if the world continues in this destructive path.

    The Republic of Honduras has coastal territory on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, which a wide diversity of ecosystems in both regions with these ecosystems supporting important fishing activities for both national and international consumption. However, in recent years, many of the fisheries of Honduras were seriously affected by or have even completely ]collapsed after a significant decline of their stocks. The Republic of Honduras relies on fisheries for a large portion of our economy, and we see that overexploitation and mismanagement has had a devastating impact on our fish stocks. We recognize the dangerous effects of overfishing, and have begun taking steps to address this issue. Honduras reconstructed catches are 2.1 times the data reported by the Food and Agriculture Associative on behalf of Honduras. We have attempted to battle this number by implementing several laws, such as the the Fisheries Law of 1959 and The General Fishery Regulations of 2001, which enforce stricter rules on the fish industry. We have also created committees such as the General Directorate for Fisheries and Aquaculture to issue licenses and concessions; execute the national fisheries policy under supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and coordinates aquaculture activity with other government agencies and private organisations. We hope these efforts will pay off.

    We as a nation suggest that the UN create more committees to better regulate aquaculture plots and fisheries. We believe that better regulation is the answer to sustain global fishing. Complete banishment or reduction of plots may be detrimental to the economy, as many rely on fishing for their income. Instead; we should expand the types of fish that are farmed, modify fishing habitats, increase aquaculture, raise awareness for environmental issues and better monitor fisheries. Taking these steps could be a huge help in conserving the environment and sustaining the fish food supply. While we should take these steps, It is also important to consider the economic side effects of our actions. A balance of increased regulation and consideration for fishers would allow for the best future in global fishing.

  • GZPperson
    GZPperson November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Ian Blackman-Staves
    City High School

    The Kingdom of Belgium is in favor of international agreements to regulate fisheries as part of a coordinated push towards sustainability.

    Exploitation of marine ecosystems has been an increasing problem for the last fifty years. Conservative estimates from the FAO indicate that 25 percent of fisheries are overexploited, while the WWF claims the number is over 85 percent. This can have impacts on both humans and the environment. Overfishing is not economically sustainable, as it quickly drives fish populations to a level at which they can no longer be depended on for food or work. This is not a problem of the future, but one in the present – shortage crises started to emerge in the 1990s, affecting thousands. Overfishing can also lead to even more widespread and lasting damage to the marine ecosystem. Many species have been driven to endangered status. Sometimes, predators are killed in order to increase the population of the target species. Any tampering with the balance of the ecosystem can have impacts outside of direct human consumption (such as depleting the bird population), sometimes leading to bigger problems down the road. Regulation on the fishery industry has the potential to threaten the immediate livelihood of many that it employs, but is necessary in order to ensure long-term security.

    Belgium’s fishing industry is small and in decline. The majority of fish in Belgium are imported. In 2013, the largest percentage of Belgium’s fish imports came from the Netherlands, followed by France. Belgium values the protection of the international fishing industry, but especially the European fishing industry, as an importer, but also as a small producer. Of course, Belgium would also be affected by the bigger environmental impacts of overfishing, as well as the economic shockwaves caused by a potential collapse of the fishing industry. Belgium follows the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, which provides a forward-thinking and sustainable approach to the regulation of the fishing industry. It currently aims for fishing between 2015 and 2020 to be set at sustainable levels. It adopts an approach to sustainability focused on the ecosystem. Limitations include the types and sizes of nets allowed, as well as strict maximum catch sizes.

    However, a large amount of international fishing comes from countries outside of the EU. Therefore, Belgium, and the EU through the CFP is committed to international cooperation with regard to fishing. There is currently a focus on an Implementation Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to regulate fishing in areas outside of any state control. Belgium is in favor of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations – international organizations regarding regional fishing interests. These could be used as leverage for more international recognition of the problem. The establishment of new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements can be used as further encouragement of international sustainable fishing practices. These agreements allow EU ships to fish in Exclusive Economic Zones in return for economic development of the local fishing industry, and allows Belgium and other EU countries to influence fishing practices in other countries, pushing towards a more sustainable fishing future. Of course, Belgium and the EU fight strongly against illegal fishing practices, and encourage international cooperation for greater enforcement of fishery regulation.

  • Janecol
    Janecol November 15, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Programme

    Protecting International Fisheries

    Federative Republic of Brazil

    Colleen Janes (East Grand Rapids High School)

    The fishing industry in the Federative Republic of Brazil contributes to the livelihood of many of our citizens, as 3.5 million people are directly or indirectly involved in fisheries and aquaculture in Brazil. However, it is difficult to regulate the fishing industry here seeing as how over 60% of our fisheries are artisanal businesses and not large scale corporations. Furthermore, due to our abundance of freshwater bodies, a large portion of our fishing industry is inland. This provides an opportunity for regulation, but our government struggles to do so and relies on non-governmental organizations such as Oceana Brazil, Statistical Fisheries Monitoring Project, and Fisheries Monitoring Program of the Fishery Institute in São Paulo.

    Due to the fact that many of the non governmental organizations we rely on are regional at best, there are large gaps between states in Brazil when it comes to regulation. For example, the Fishery Institute in São Paulo has continuously monitored its fisheries since the 1960, but it is the only state to do so. From a federal level, no data has been taken since 2008.

    However, that does not mean we are not taking action. The current Brazialan adminsitration desires “sustainability, social inclusion, adequate structuring of production chains, strengthening of the domestic market, territorial approaches for management and development programmes, increased competitiveness and the sector’s organizations and consolidation of state policies.” We have found success in engaging small-scale fisherfolk leaders from communities in exchange visits to experience and learn how cooperatives are successfully managed.

    Brazil calls upon the United Nations Environmental Programme to address how to best protect international fisheries, and looks forward to collaborating with other delegates in the weeks to come.

  • Matthew.katz
    Matthew.katz November 15, 2017 Reply

    Country: Republic of Peru
    Committee: Environmental
    School: FH Northern High School
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Delegate: Matthew Katz
    It is imperative that the protection of sea dwelling creatures is continually monitored, as they are an enormous and key part of the world economy. It is key that the U.N. and member states continue to use their resources to protect and defend International Fisheries.
    The issue of Protecting International Fisheries is one of great importance to the government of Peru. With a dwindling population of anchoveta, one of Peru’s largest exports is at risk. Part of the decline in population is due to gross overfishing of the species and with problems monitoring fishermen and over catching it can be hard to put a stop to the degradation of the marine life populations.
    Being the world’s top fish meal exporter, Peru had previously been notorious for the exploitation of the Anchovy population. But in recent years the new government of Peru has shown an interest into the importance of protecting the Anchoveta populations. Putting into place a ban of industrial fishing within ten miles of the coast in Northern and Central Peru, and a seven mile ban on the coast of Southern Peru. These restrictions along with new fines and lesser amounts of permits being distributed, will all help toward the effort of protecting the International Fisheries.
    Peru’s strong belief in protecting the marine wildlife has already led to a decrease in the amounts of Anchoveta fished. Quota numbers have been slashed and continue to stay relatively low, fluctuating with the year. Peru firmly believes in the protection of our marine life and continues to work tirelessly to weed out corruption and hold industrial fishing to an extremely high standard. Peru’s hope is that they can come to work with the United Nations to create a strong protection system for marine life, but continue to allow international fisheries to flourish.

  • Marinacox18
    Marinacox18 November 15, 2017 Reply

    Protecting International Fisheries
    Marina Cox, Mattawan High School

    Global marine fisheries production have remained relatively stable, yet the state of the world’s fish stocks has not improved. There is concern that this is due to the under reporting of fish by producers. Many countries are aware of this problem; however, they do not have the means or will to create solutions to combat overfishing and other such issues. Three issues occur with international fisheries: they are hard to monitor with any degree of certainty, underreporting of fish catches creates unwarranted optimism on the health of the fisheries, and direct environmental damage results from certain fishing techniques such as bottom trawling. We must approach the problem of international fisheries in our environmental committee with a clear vision in mind, recommending nations to take action on their own territorial waters as well as recommend measures for international water.

    Mexico is the world’s 16th largest fishing nation and one of the richest in marine biodiversity. Over 250,000 families depend on fisheries in Mexico; therefore, we have a large economic stake in fishing. Mexico was caught by the US, participating in illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU); however, since then, we have made meaningful progress toward bettering the management issues within our Mexican fisheries. We have begun a campaign, #PescaPeroBien, to encourage seafood buyers to buy sustainably-sourced products and better fishing techniques. One challenge Mexico sees in monitoring management measures is oversight. 95% of our fishery boats are small-ship vessels, making it very hard to monitor their actions as opposed to larger vessels which are easier to track and less abundant.

    To solve this issue, we must consider what to recommend to individual nations for their own waters and EEZ‘s as well as make recommendations for international waters were no state has the authority to act. We must prevent nations that have a significant economic stake in the success of their fishing fleets from invading catch quotas. Mexico believes that providing incentives for fishery producers and seafood buyers will help to fix the under protection of international fisheries. We hope to join other willing nations in solving the problem of international fisheries to improve our global environment.

  • Aliviajewell
    Aliviajewell November 15, 2017 Reply

    Country: Burkina Faso
    Committee: Environmental
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    School: Williamston High School
    Delegate: Alivia Stanley

    The most pressing matter of the fisheries is the state of the world’s fish stocks. This is a concern because the conservation and decline in fish stocks ultimately decides how the ecosystems in these bodies of water are surviving. A concerning factor of the topic is that it is hard to tell just how many of a certain species of fish there are in a body of water. It is also hard to tell how healthy the overall population of that species is. This is because there is no way to catch all the fish in some body of water so the common method is to catch a large number and use the average health of those fish caught to base the average of the entire population of that species in the area. Another reason it is hard to tell how healthy a fish population is, is because some people do not report the catches they get. The overfishing epidemic is huge and using fishing techniques such as bottom trawling effects not only the health of fisheries stock but also the people who depend on the fish for a living. Likewise many nations have taken precautions to conserve fish stocks in their national waters. Meanwhile other places do not have the necessary precautions in place due to lack in funding or support.
    The fisheries of Burkina Faso are very important to the people there. Especially the Burkinabe people who consume 1.5 kg of fish per capita per year. The people of Burkina Faso overfished the bodies of water in and around the country for a long time especially before 1994. Today Burkina Faso has left industrial fishing for the most part to Senegal, Mauritania, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire and instead leaves its fishing efforts to the people themselves. Burkina Faso has not passed any legal regulations against overfishing due to technical, economical and sociological reasons, therefore aquaculture in Burkina Faso is still in its early stages.
    Burkina Faso’s plan for the future is to create rules and regulations to keep the ecosystems in the bodies of sources in and around it healthy and thriving. Burkina Faso will do this by getting more involved in industrial fishing but not overfish the water like it had before 1994. Burkina Faso also plans to further develop its aquaculture and fisheries in the near future. Burkina Faso looks to its neighboring countries for support and donation of boats or ships since it is quite poor and cannot afford the manufacturing of large fishing ships. Burkina Faso plans to open fishery job opportunities to its people to encourage the economy in a healthy direction. Burkina Faso believes other countries should follow in their footsteps by helping to educate the citizens of their countries. This will undoubtedly help the economies of all countries and the overall health of fisheries around the world.

  • Liyahxbard
    Liyahxbard November 16, 2017 Reply

    Country: South Africa
    Delegate: Liyah Bard
    School: Grand Blanc High School
    Committee: ECOSOC – UNEP

    History and what has been done about it in the past: South Africa has three main sectors for the fishing industry. Though there have been some of the regulations made there are still issues as people always bypass these. A system of individual company quotas was introduced in 1979 and a method of allocating them was based on, among other things, level of investment, historical and current performance and trawling capacity. A total of six quotas were allocated to deep-sea trawling companies, but the two largest companies were together allocated 85% of the TAC (Total Allowed Caught). In 1988, the Sea Fishery Act was passed, establishing a Quota Board with the task of awarding annual quotas across all commercial fisheries. Over the nine years of its existence, the Quota Board redistributed 15% of the hake TAC. We are only given one environment to live in and take care of. If we do not take our part and contribute to the health of it our future generations could easily be in danger and have to fix what we have left broken.

    The South African fisheries sector plays a small part in the economy of the country. With regard to GDP, it contributes less than 1%. However, regionally fisheries play a major role in the economy. The Western Cape is the center of the industrial fisheries and in areas such as Saldanha Bay and St Helena Bay. South Africa’s fisheries policy is founded on the belief that all natural marine living resources, as well as the environment in which they exist and in which mariculture activities may occur, are a national asset and the heritage of all its people, and should be managed and developed for the benefit of present and future generations in the country as a whole. South Africa has implemented many regulations to try and fix this issue. The South African fishing industry is regulated by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The commercial and recreational fishing industry is valued approx. ZAR 4 to 5 billion annually. All marine fisheries require a right or permit and fall within one of the three main sectors, namely small-scale/subsistence, industrial and recreational.

    It is clear that action needs to be taken to protect the industry from overfishing. South Africa advocates for strict overwatch on the amount of fish being caught during spawning season which is September through November. Also, put quotas on how many fish can be caught by a single person in a season. To ensure this, we could possibly put regulations on the number of times an individual can go to a certain area. A reason this should even be considered is that the spawning season is one of the most important seasons as it is an attempt to repopulate the body of water with the amount or even more than the amount lost from the previous season. This is precious time as it is only a quarter of the whole year. If this precious time is lost, it could cause a domino effect, especially in the food chain. South America’s primary concern is to thrive and keep a healthy ecosystem

  • Maxreyster1
    Maxreyster1 November 16, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Williamston High School
    Max Eyster
    The extent of overfishing and practice of especially damaging fishing techniques has climbed to an unprecedented scale. As of just 2014, The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that global marine fisheries production amounted to 81.5 million tons, a staggering figure, which does not even account for massive underreporting of catches by fishers, with “real” catches exceeding FAO estimates by as much as 50%. This underreporting is most commonly a result of failure to report bycatch, as well as from overfishing and illegal fishing operations. The FAO also found that the state of the world’s fish stocks has not improved overall, and that more than 30% of global fisheries were being harvested at biologically unsustainable rates. Bottom trawling is an industrial method which uses enormous nets weighed down with heavy ballast which are dragged along the sea floor, raking up or crushing everything in their way, from fish to ancient coral. Bottom trawling is one of the most destructive methods of fishing, obliterating entire ecosystems in its wake. Additional destructive techniques include the use of chemicals and explosives to kill fish. Cyanide fishing is used on the now-devastated reefs of the Philippines – where an estimated 65 tons of cyanide are poured into the sea each year – and those in eastern Indonesia and other western Pacific countries. The use of explosives for blast fishing has also been around for centuries and is on the increase. Explosions can produce large craters, devastating between 10 and 20 square meters of the sea floor. They kill not only the target fish, but all the other surrounding fauna and flora. In coral reefs, reconstruction of the damaged habitats can take decades. Discarded nets also pose a danger to ecosystems, capturing and killing fish and other wildlife. It is the duty of the United Nations to find a solution to the adverse conditions facing international fisheries.
    Swaziland is divided into four ecological zones, namely the Highveld, Midveld, Lowveld and the Lubombo Plateau. The country also has three significant river basin systems: the Nkomati, Mbuluzi and Usuthu river basins. Being a small, landlocked country, it is worthy to note that Swaziland has limited access to suitable water bodies and that consequently there is minimal fishery resources in the country. The main fishing areas are in dams that have been constructed for hydropower and irrigation purposes, such as the Hendrick Van Eck, Luphohlo, Maguga, Mkimkomo, Mnjoli and Sand River Dams. The main fish species that are exploited are tilapia (T. mossambicus and T. rendalli) and catfish (Clarias garipinus). A Fish and Fisheries Survey conducted by the fisheries administration in 2002/2003 indicated that Swaziland has approximately 60 species of fish located in various water bodies throughout the country. Species targeted for sport fishing (angling) include the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmaides), rainbow trout (Salmo giardeneri) and tiger fish (Hydrocynus vittatus). With an undeveloped fishing industry, Swaziland does not face many overfishing issues, but does not want destructive fishing methods to harm its already scarce underwater ecosystems and cares deeply for the protection of international fisheries.
    The delegacy of Swaziland wholeheartedly believes that restrictions must be put in place to decrease the severity and rate of the degradation of international fisheries, but also wishes to note the importance of allowing countries with underdeveloped fishing industries to further develop. Swaziland suggests the identification and ban of environmentally destructive fishing practices, as well as recognition and regulation of especially overfished fisheries.

  • avatar image
    Karis Clark November 16, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environmental Programme
    Protecting International Fisheries
    Republic of Rwanda
    Karis Clark
    Kalamazoo Central

    Fishing has been an important part of agricultural development in world history, and with the rise of the global fishing industry, the global marine fisheries have produced 81.5 million tons acdording to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The current problem facing the ecosystem is the unsustainability of the fish species. Underreporting of fish production is a large contributor to this issue. Although fishing helps provide many natural resources to the world and helps stimulate the global economy, it is necesary to maintain the status of the ecosystem at the same time. It should also be noted that it is also necessary to come up with a solution to this problem without enforcing the issue to the extreme, therefore creating more internal conflict.

    Although, the Republic of Rwanda is a land-locked nation, there is a multitude of lakes and rivers providing ample oppurtunities for fishing. The national fish production is estimated at 267,732 tons of fish in the year of 2015 for Rwanda. Rwanda’s fishing industry is rapidly expanding, contributing to the development of the economy. As an argriculturally self-sufficient country, Rwanda is in the lead in regards to being the top environmentally-friendly country in Africa. The country’s national “Umuganda” is a day which promotes voluntary community service in the nation, as well as the overall protection of the environment as a whole.

    Currently, the most popular type of fishing in Rwanda is cage-fishing. Cage-fish farming involves putting cages into the lake in which fish subsequently enter. Rwanda has invested heavily in the fishing industry, putting in $15 – 20 million in the sector over the past five years in order to ensure its growth, all the while using strategies such as cage fishing to limit the overall environmental impact. Cage fishing is essentially inexpensive and easy to do. It is easy to adapt and helps produce high quality fish, which makes it a great start-up for developing countries. This makes for ease of harvesting which in the long-run helps sustain the ecosystem.

    Implementing strategies like cage-fishing can surely help further the growth of international fisheries while maintaining and helping fix the problems faced.

  • Mayacassetta
    Mayacassetta November 17, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Protecting international fisheries
    Forest Hills Central High School
    Maya Casetta
    Addressing the issue of international fisheries, we need to take better action to protect these institutions otherwise, the species of fish protected by these fisheries may become more endangered. Current data indicates that fisheries are harvesting ocean life faster than the reproduction rate, threatening the stability of several fish species. There is much speculation that the numbers could be rigged up to 50% so the situation could be much more dire than it already is. It is already difficult enough to monitor most fish stocks with any kind of 100% assurance. Now with 30% of the global fisheries fudging the numbers, we don’t know how much worse the situation has become. Azerbaijan feels that we need to address this problem as soon as we can and can offer multiple solutions
    To start, Azerbaijan proposes having marine sanctuaries where the the fishing of marine life is prohibited. This way, some parts of the ocean may be preserved so that the ocean life can live in peace.We could also establishing a rate at wish fish can be caught per year. Seeing as it is hard to enforce this in some fisheries, a third party could be brought in to track the harvesting of fish. Lastly, we could ban any kind of harvesting of fish harmful to the species growth and development. To do this we can enforce laws that prohibit any fishing techniques harmful to the population of the species.

  • avatar image
    Jameson VanDokkumburg November 17, 2017 Reply

    United Nations Environment Programme
    Topic: Protecting International Fisheries
    Country: Italy
    Jameson VanDokkumburg
    East Grand Rapids High School

    Italian policy on fisheries is based on four major tenants: management of fishery resources, structural policy, the common organization of markets and international agreements. Italy acknowledges the issues with current fishery/aquaculture standards and opposes the lack of sufficient regulatory action taken to combat both the unsustainable harvesting of fisheries and degradation of natural marine ecosystems nationwide. Italy also recognizes the fact that illegal fishing operations are prevalent–despite attempted regulation–and that the malpractice of underreporting fish catch numbers leads to an unwarrantedly optimistic perspective of global fishery/aquaculture health.

    While Italy is certainly interested in collaboration with foreign nations in order to increase the health of aquatic ecosystems and the sustainability of marine animals as a world food source, it should be noted that economically speaking–Italy is not too far invested in the issue. Though Italy is the 3rd highest aquaculture producer in the EU, the fisheries and aquaculture sectors only account for a mere 0.1 percent of Italian GDP and only 5.7 percent of Agriculture Value Added in 2010. Also notable, in recent years, the Italian deficit balance of fish trade has increased as internal production and exports have decreased, while imports of fish and other seafood substances have steadily increased. What this means for Italy is that though the country is certainly interested in environmental sustainability, it relies on the global fishery economy for its own domestic success and as such, is uninterested in the complete overregulation of marine life harvesting fishery usage.

    Italy is open to some of the suggested proposals as a solution to the crisis affecting fisheries and the international aquaculture such as the establishment of marine sanctuary areas where fishing is prohibited, the banning of especially destructive fishing techniques or those which unequally affect other species over those targeted, or the creation of quotas for tonnage of fish caught per year in an effort to not over farm the ocean. In all of these cases however, the details and logistics of enforcement are difficult: the ocean is vast, and fishing vessels are widely scattered, making direct supervision of specific techniques near impossible. Due to these obstacles, Italy suggests and supports the implementation of small scale solutions such as: improving health, security and hygiene of on board of vessels, as well as the quality of the fish landed; increasing the efficiency of engines on board and reducing fuel consumption; and improving the enforcement of Reg. (CE) 1224/09 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. While certainly not as large-scale and groundbreaking as some of the other proposed suggestions, Italy believes that the aforementioned proposals could create substantial change without being overly restrictive and without putting nations who rely on aquaculture imports at risk.

    Above all else, Italy has a vested interest in the continued sustainment of aquatic ecosystems and wants to do everything in its power to repopulate currently depleted areas of the marine fisheries. Italy will continue to be agreeable to policy of increased aquaculture quality, species diversification marketing, and environmental protection and will cooperate with the United Nations and its members in the pursuit of such objectives.

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