This evening more than 100 nations finally have reached a historic agreement to protect the world’s oceans following 10 years of negotiations. The High Seas Treaty places 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030, aiming to safeguard and recuperate marine nature. The negotiations had been held up for years over disagreements on funding and fishing rights.
The existing agreement of 1982 established an area called the high seas – international waters where all countries have a right to fish, ship and do research – but only 1.2% of these waters are protected. Marine life living outside of these protected areas has been at risk from climate change, overfishing and shipping traffic.
The legally binding agreement to conserve and ensure the sustainable use of ocean biodiversity was agreed after five rounds of protracted United Nations-led negotiations that ended in New York on Saturday, a day after the original deadline, as reported by Reuters.