Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Report of the Co-Chair of Partnership Dialogue 4

Statement by the Honourable Mr Oumar Gueye
Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy
Report on Partnership Dialogue #4- Making Fisheries Sustainable
Distinguished Delegates
It is indeed my honour to deliver this Report on behalf of myself and my friend, the
Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fishe ries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard of
Canada.Together, we had the distinct and high privilege of Co-chairing Partnership Dialogue
#4- Making Fisheries Sustainable.
More than 3 billion people rely on fish as a source of protein. 300 million people rely on marine
fisheries for their livelihoods. In developing and developed countries alike, the consumption of
fish is increasing both per capita and in absolute terms.
During the past two decades, there has been a sea of change in the management and stock st atus
of global fisheries. Total global fishery production currently stands at 170 million Metric
Tonnes, with Capture fisheries at 95 million Metric Tonnes. Approximately, a third of stocks are
over-exploited beyond maximum sustainable yield (MSY).
Co- Presidents,
Our Ocean and its resources confront numerous challenges, both natural and anthropogenic. In
relation to fisheries, three challenges stand out prominently as requiring our collective and
urgent atten~ion. These are:
(i) Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
(ii) Challenges in the management of shared, s traddling and migratory stocks on the
high-seas as well as in coastal sovereign waters; and
(iii) Improving the status of fisheries in coastal communities in developing countries
including SIDS. These are mostly small-scale fisheries, and those concerned
make up over 90% the people involved in the fishing industry globally.
The dialogue identified a number of drivers behind these challenges including:
(i) Overfishing, in exclusive economic zones and on the high seas, threatens
biodiversity and food security.
(ii) Harmful subsidies, estimated to be $35 billion worldwide, that could include $20
billion categorized as capacity-enhancing subsidies that directly contribute to
(iii) Population dynamics, including population growth, poverty and socio-economic
situations, economic migration and forced migration reaching new heights;
(iv) Climate change and climate events of unprecedented levels.
Co- Presidents,
To address and assist in alleviating these challenges, we must exert our collective efforts
through improved local, national and regional science based management, with multistakeholder
involvement and powerful support from international cooperation through binding
and non-binding or voluntary instruments.
IUU fishing can be addressed through existing instruments such as the Port State Measures
Agreement (PSMA), Catch Documentation Schemes (CDS) and the Global Record for fishing
vessels (GR), complemented by some of the initiatives presented here this week, like the Tuna
Transparency Declaration, or the Parties to the Nauru Agreement's Vessel Day Scheme. If we put
our minds, resources and efforts into it, we can overcome this challenge.
There are also regional management models based on UNCLOS and the UN Fish Stocks
Agreement Through these mechanisms, the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations
(RFMOs), ought to get the political, scientific and financial support they need, to serve us more
broadly and effectively.
Finally, we must join together and collectively work within the World Trade Organization
processes to end certain harmful fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and
overfishing, or that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The enthusiasm
exhibited here this week must now be transferred to Geneva where the conversation on
subsidies is taking place. ·
As was revealed during the dialogue, we need a multi-stakeholder, well designed and targeted
effort to support coastal communities, to manage, develop, and conserve ocean resources, and
ensure that fish can be brought to markets with value added. This is Blue Growth, based on the
Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) and the Ecosystem approach; you can call it
by other names, but the effects need to be the same. This effort needs to be holistic and take the
whole community, the whole ecosystem and the whole value chain into account. Let's leave noone
In conclusion, I wish to pay particular tribute to Mr. Anthony Long, Mr. Arni Mathiesen, Ms.
Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Mr. Karl Brauner, and Mr. Milton Haughton, moderator and
panellists, States, Organisations and Stakeholders and to the ever dedicated Secretariat for the
successful conduct of our dialogue.