Statement by the Delegation of the
Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations
at the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction
New York, 30 April 2008
Check Against Delivery
My delegation first wishes to congratulate you on the assumption of your office; we pledge our full cooperation to you in helping to achieve a successful outcome of this meeting.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has served us well over the years but we are now starting to see gaps in its implementation and governance. We would like to comment on two issues of particular concern.
First I would like to turn to by-catch. My country is dependent on the ocean as its primary food source. But several species have almost disappeared in some parts of the Pacific Ocean. This includes the "Rainbow Runner", being an untargeted fish, especially in purse seine fishery. It is tragic that the fish caught is not even consumed at dinner tables but instead simply discarded. And this species which plays a vital role in my nation's cultural framework as well as serving as a subsistence food source is increasingly threatened.
The second topic I would like to turn to is bottom trawling, an issue which the delegations of Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia have spearheaded in recent years at the United Nations. Monday's presentation on what happens if the international community continues to neglect the issue graphically illustrated that it is time for us to bring the discussion forward.
How do we move forward in regulating these issues? It is clear to us that only an integrated approach including reporting and verification can lead us in the right direction. However, we would not like to prescribe a standard formula. All options in this regard should be discussed and the process should be carried forward at the United Nations General Assembly where small delegations such as mine have a representation. Therefore, we welcome the continued discussions through the annual resolution on Sustainable Fisheries to find a workable option.