High Seas

BLUE’s mission is to see 30 per cent of the world’s ocean under protection by 2030 and the high seas, which make up over 64 per cent of the ocean, are vital to achieving this goal.

Please click here to read BLUE’s Vision for the High Seas.

The high seas, those parts of the ocean beyond national jurisdiction, make up nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean. Yet less than one per cent of the high seas is properly protected. A patchwork of 21 separate organisations currently regulates different species, spaces and activities on the high seas, with varying degrees of effectiveness. This regulatory system requires underpinning by a legal instrument specifically designed to protect biodiversity, and independently assess the scientific need for protection.

The first stage of a two-year United Nations process to secure an international agreement to protect Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) began in September 2018. It is BLUE’s ambition to raise the political and public profile of the high seas and the importance of these UN talks over the next two years. We will develop a coalition of leading businesses from the food, retail and maritime sectors to join us in urging the UK government to take a global leadership role in ocean diplomacy to push for an ambitious high seas deal.

The UK government was the first G7 country to commit, in September 2018, to protecting 30 per cent of its waters by 2030. BLUE has embarked on a two-year campaign to articulate a vision, raise awareness and ultimately encourage leadership in high seas conservation. As members of the High Seas Alliance, we are seeking a global, legally-binding treaty to protect high seas biodiversity.

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