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APEC Affirms Committment To Sustainable Fisheries


PERU - At the conclusion of this week's meeting in Paracas, Peru, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member nations, responsible for sustainable fisheries and marine resources conservation, adopted the Paracas Declaration.

Chaired by Peru's Minister of Production, Mr Jorge Villasante, the group acknowledged current issues affecting the industry including economic recovery from a recession, spikes in food prices, the intensifying effects of climate change on ecosystems, and increasing pressure on marine ecosystems to offer a diverse range of activities.

Held under the theme "Healthy Oceans and Fisheries Management towards Food Security," the Ministers stated that they will focus on four themes going forward:

  • Sustainable development and protection of the marine environment;
  • Impact of climate change on the oceans;
  • Free and open trade and investment; and,
  • The role of oceans in food security.

The Paracas Declaration includes an action agenda that addresses key challenges and reaffirms earlier commitments. Ministers called for the following actions:

  • Seek ways to promote cooperation among APEC economies to contribute towards regional assessments in the APEC region and understanding of the marine ecosystem;

  • Ensure sustainable management of the marine environment by encouraging capacity building and information sharing on approaches among APEC economies to protect human health, provide economic and social benefits, and contribute to food security in the APEC region;

  • Encourage APEC economies to reduce both sea and land-based sources of marine pollution and marine debris;

  • Gather and share of scientific knowledge on climate change and its impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, fisheries and aquaculture;

  • Stressing the importance of the fisheries subsidies negotiations as part of the World Trade Organization Doha Development Agenda and urging the APEC economies to actively commit to a successful and effective outcome of these negotiations, in line with the 2005 WTO Hong Kong Ministerial mandate, to strengthen disciplines on subsidies in the fisheries sector, taking into account the importance of the fisheries sector for poverty reduction, job creation and food security;

  • Promote the sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture resources both domestically and internationally through, inter alia, application of science to management, implementation of ecosystem approaches and a precautionary approach to fisheries, and ensuring that sufficient institutional capacity is in place.

APEC Oceans Ministers will convey the outcomes to the first APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, which will be held on 16-17 October, Niigata, Japan and to the attention of APEC Leaders at their meeting in November in Yokohama, Japan.