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U.S. Kerry calls for ban on drift net fishing to be enforced to protect oceans

Dec 11, 2015 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently called for a better stewardship of oceans and the creation of a global system to enforce the ban on drift net fishing.

Speaking at an event organized by the United Nations Foundation, on the sidelines of the climate conference, Kerry said:

“The ocean is fragile. The ocean is an ecosystem. And the ocean requires stewardship just like every other aspect of life on this planet. And for all its size and its majesty — and it is majestic for those who spend time on the ocean — it is vulnerable. And that’s why I’m here today. And that’s why you are here today, and it could not be more important,”

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the primary negative environmental effect produced by drift net fishing is the by-catch of non-target species like marine mammals, seabirds and to a minor extent turtles.

Secretary Kerry went on to say;

“There is too much money chasing to a few fish. And we have illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing — IUU as it is called — on massive scale. I have seen some of these ships in South Africa when I was down there, they go into ports, they’re from countries way off in Asia, they never go home, they simply sit in the port, they get refurbished and they go back out and they strip mine the ocean, literally. Because some of them are illegally fishing with drift nets, that (U.S. former senator) Ted Stevens and I went to the United Nations trying to ban years ago, they did ban it, but there is nobody enforcing it. So we don’t have an enforced global system,”

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