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Workshop to protect marine ecosystems

The Institute of Marine Research hosts FAO workshop on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the high seas

During the past decade the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) issued several calls to states and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) against destructive impacts of bottom fisheries. Typical VMEs are cold-water coral reefs and other slow-growing benthic communities, and the very special fauna associated with hydrothermal vents.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been assisting states and RFMOs in their development of adequate management responses for deep-sea and high seas fisheries which led to the adoption of the International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-sea fisheries in the high seas in 2008. Recently the FAO with support from many partners initiated the “Common Oceans” programme (http://www.commonoceans.org/deep-seas-biodiversity/en/) which, as one of its work areas, includes deep-sea and high seas fisheries.

In a workshop convened by FAO in Arendal, Norway, and hosted by the Flødevigen Marine Station of IMR, issues concerning encounter protocols and impact assessments will be discussed by an international group of managers, scientists, representatives of industry and non-governmental organizations.

Located on the south coast of Norway, proud of its status as a UN City, the maritime town of Arendal is welcoming this event. Deepwater science and management advice provided by IMR during the past 25 years has contributed to the development of currently adopted actions, and the institute appreciates the opportunity to host the workshop.

For more information on the FAO actions related to the workshop topic and other activity in waters beyond national jurisdiction, please visit www.commonoceans.org