According to an Oceansinc release, negotiators at the Rio+20 have already dropped any immediate promise to protect the high seas – those distant parts of the ocean beyond national boundaries. US, Canada, Japan, Venezuela and Russia have blocked relatively strong language in the conference text to protect the high seas and left Rio+20 with a decision to wait three years before making a decision.
Susanna Fuller of the High Seas Alliance had this to say:
“There’s no commitment – it’s like telling your girlfriend you promise to decide in three years whether or not to decide, whether or not to get married. We don’t have time for this nonsense; the ocean doesn’t have time.”
But there is still some cause for cautious optomism given the number of other nations that were in favour of high seas protection.
Sue Lieberman from Pew said:
“There are strong outcomes in the text that relate to fisheries, illegal fishing, and harmful subsidies, and government leaders should use their speeches and interventions here in Rio to make firm commitments to implement these decisions, and to commit to take urgent action for the high seas”.