High seas protection initiative underway in Europe

A recent agreement struck between the WWF and a European shipping company will aim to promote the conservation of the high seas and strengthen WWF-Norway's Endangered seas programme.

The three-year agreement between the grassroots organisation and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines will help to improve high seas governance, while creating and developing practical conservation solutions, like High Seas Marine Protected Areas (HSMPAs).

The partnership should also reinforce the positive impact of work done by the WWF’s global marine programme.

The WWF high seas conservation strategy will reduce threats of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing incidents, as well as helping to improve global tuna fishing fleet management and minimise the bycatch amounts of species such as dolphins, sharks and turtles.

“By joining forces, we will be making a significant contribution to securing marine conservation in the last frontier of the oceans and the high seas,” said Simon Cripps, director of WWF’s global marine programme, adding that it was vital to conserve the open ocean as it acts as a resource for many different countries.

Chief executive officer for Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Nils Dyvik stated that care of the marine environment had long been a fundamental concern for the shipping company, which already made considerable efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and influence other industries, especially the oil sector, which has caused considerable damage to the world’s waters over recent years (see related story).

“Our global sponsorship of WWF is an important step in taking our clean environmental message to the market,” he stated. “We always try and go beyond current legislation and our goal is to work towards a cleaner marine landscape for tomorrow.”

By Jane Kettle

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