Full text 
Procedure : 2017/2653(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0382/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 31/05/2017 - 19
CRE 31/05/2017 - 19

Votes :

PV 01/06/2017 - 7.13
CRE 01/06/2017 - 7.13
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Thursday, 1 June 2017 - Brussels
High-level UN Conference to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (UN Ocean Conference)

European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) (2017/2653(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy(1) and to its objectives,

–  having regard to the upcoming High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference), to be convened at UN headquarters from 5 to 9 June 2017,

–  having regard to the fourth high-level ‘Our Ocean’ conference, to be held by the European Union in Malta on 5 and 6 October 2017,

–  having regard to the Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries held in Malta on 30 March 2017,

–  having regard to the joint communication of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 November 2016 entitled ‘International Ocean Governance: an agenda for the future of our Oceans’ (JOIN(2016)0049),

–  having regard to the oral question to the Commission on the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) (O-000031/2017 – B8‑0311/2017),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the oceans and seas are central to our lives, welfare and future; whereas the current rapid decline in ocean health - with the warming and acidification of oceans, the bleaching of corals, increasing pressure on fish stocks, and increasing amounts of marine litter - is alerting us that the time has come for action to mobilise the necessary leadership to protect our oceans;

B.  whereas Commissioner Vella has called for more EU action and engagement to protect our seas and oceans;

C.  whereas the threats to ecosystems and fishing grounds posed by activities linked to Blue Growth, such as seabed mining, oil prospecting and tidal and wave power, together with the risks that these activities entail, are uncertain, transcend borders and affect traditional fishing areas;

D.  whereas small-scale and artisanal fishers’ access to markets and resources is a priority of the UN Agenda 2030; whereas fishers should have a voice in all decision-making phases of fisheries policies;

E.  whereas artisanal fisheries account for more than 90 % of fishing workers, around half of whom are women, and approximately 50 % of global fish catches; whereas as stated in the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, artisanal fisheries are a valuable source of animal protein for billions of people worldwide and often support local economies in coastal communities;

1.  Welcomes the initiative taken in convening the High-Level UN Conference to focus attention on the need to act globally to reduce the adverse impact of human activities on the oceans;

2.  Notes that despite the world’s commitment to curb overfishing by 2015, made in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 31,4 % of the world’s fish stocks are still overfished; recalls that overfishing is a serious threat not only to entire marine ecosystems but also to food security and to the economic and social sustainability of coastal communities worldwide;

3.  Is concerned that ocean acidification caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide has serious negative impacts on many marine organisms; stresses the need to develop effective adaptation and cross-sectorial mitigation measures in order to build resilience to ocean acidification and harmful impacts of climate change, on the oceans as well as on coastal ecosystems;

4.  Stresses the need for an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach as enshrined in the Treaties and the Common Fisheries Policy to be implemented in global fisheries management, so as to rebuild and maintain exploited fish stocks above levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield;

5.  Calls for any decision on fisheries subsidies to take into account the specificities of artisanal and small-scale fisheries, their local character and their fundamental role in ensuring food sovereignty and the economic and social survival of coastal communities;

6.  Encourages states to assume their respective responsibilities as flag, coastal, port and market states, in particular by:

   flag state - full implementation of the international and national management measures to ensure that vessels flying their flag respect the rules;
   coastal state - ensuring sustainable fishing in waters under their jurisdiction and controlling access to those waters in order to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
   port state - ratification and full implementation of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) Port State Measures Agreement;
   market state – taking measures to ensure better coordination between the fight against IUU fishing and trade and market policy;

7.  Stresses the importance of conserving at least 10 % of coastal and marine areas, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.5;

8.  Stresses the importance of UN SDG 14.7 in terms of increasing the economic benefits for small island developing states and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through the sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism;

9.  Calls for enhanced sustainable fisheries management, including through the implementation of science-based management measures;

10.  Calls for reinforced regional cooperation among all states in fisheries management for a sustainable and equitable exploitation of migratory species, especially regarding scientific stock assessments, monitoring, surveillance and control of fishing activities as called for by the UN Fish Stocks Agreement of 1995 and the three Review Conferences of 2006, 2010 and 2016; believes that all commercially exploited species should be covered by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) with increased powers to efficiently enforce management decisions and sanctions;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to promote further the principles and objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, to the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU Parties.

(1) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22.

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