Historic new UN treaty to protect the high seas: Member States agree on a new agreement that could include restrictions on fishing and mining on the deep sea floor – after 15 YEARS of negotiations
UN member states have agreed on a historic treaty to protect the high seas after 15 years of negotiations.
The high seas begin outside countries’ national waters, extending up to 200 nautical miles (230 mi) from the coasts.
They therefore do not fall under the jurisdiction of any country.
Ocean ecosystems create half the oxygen humans breathe and limit global warming by absorbing much of the carbon dioxide.
But they are threatened by climate change, pollution and overfishing.
United Nations Headquarters in New York
The UN member states have finally agreed on a historic treaty to protect the high seas
When the treaty enters into force, it will allow for the creation of marine protected areas in these waters.
It could lead to restrictions on fishing and deep-sea mining.
The high seas comprise more than 60 percent of the world’s oceans and nearly half of the Earth’s surface.
Only about 1 percent of the high seas are currently protected.
The treaty is seen as essential to achieving the goal of conserving 30 percent of the world’s land and oceans by 2030.
Greenpeace said 4.2 million square miles of ocean would need to be protected each year until 2030 to meet the goal.