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European Commissioner Outlines Commission’s Key Targets for Oceans at Rio+20

6 March 2012: European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki has outlined the European Commission's objectives on Oceans and Coasts for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). She called in particular for “green investments for a blue world.”

Damanaki was speaking at a Symposium on “A Blueprint for Oceans and Coasts” at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 6 March 2012. She underscored the need to modernize the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy to, among other things, address overfishing, illegal fishing and discard practices. She emphasized that the policy should be “simpler, greener and more region-specific.” She also highlighted the concepts of maximum sustainable yield and ecosystem-based approaches. She said reforming the EU's policies would enable the EU to arrive at Rio+20 with concrete building blocks.

As outcomes of Rio+20, Damanaki emphasized: working towards a worldwide catch certification scheme and global zero tolerance for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; protecting marine biodiversity through a new multilateral agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and shifting from an “open access” attitude to a “concept of shared responsibility over the global commons.” [EUROPA Press Release]