Océans en santé. Communautés en santé

High Seas Treaty Ratification

April 30, 2024

We’re one step closer to solving lawlessness on the high seas! Living Oceans worked with Nature Canada and a coalition of groups across Canada to urge the federal government to sign the United Nations’ High Seas Treaty. Despite being a member of the so-called “high ambition coalition” negotiating the Treaty, Canada did not sign until March 4, 2024, becoming the 88th state to do so.

With all of the world’s major fishing nations now subscribed, the High Seas Treaty is poised to become law…except that only two of the 88 signatories have ratified the Treaty. Ratification involves passing domestic legislation to give legal authority to enforce the Treaty’s provisions. You guessed it: Canada is not one of the two. Only Chile and Palau have ratified. It will take 60 countries ratifying the Treaty for it to become law.

Ratification is critical: this Treaty addresses so much of what threatens the ocean, our food supply and the very air we breathe.

The Treaty aims to see 30% of the world’s ocean in marine protected areas—a major improvement over the current 1%.

To see some of the candidate areas for protection, go to www.highseasalliance.org - it is a stunning website, loaded with photos and information about amazing biodiversity hotspots including, for example, The Lost City sitting atop the Atlantis seamount massif. Some scientists believe that places like this (and so far, this is the only one we know about) could be where life on earth began.

You can take action at the same site and follow the progress of nations with ratification. Be sure to mention the Treaty to your MP and urge him/her to proceed with ratification immediately: we need this Treaty in place before the International Seabed Authority gives the green light to deep-sea mining!

Photo description: A 5-foot-wide flange on the side of a chimney in the Lost City Field is topped with dendritic carbonate growths that form when mineral-rich vent fluids seep through the flange and come into contact with the cold seawater.

Photo credit: By http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/press/01/pr0156.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7121090