Trans-Pacific Partnership Can Protect the Oceans, Promote Sustainable Trade
Press Release Date: June 14, 2010
Location: San Francisco
Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation organization, is in San Francisco this week to urge the countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to advance a marine environment agreement that would promote the sustainable trade and management of ocean resources. Specifically, Oceana is urging the countries to pursue obligations and commitments in the TPP that would address harmful subsidies for fishing, protect shark populations, combat seafood fraud and illegal fishing, improve fisheries management and the ability to preserve living marine resources, and improve compliance with domestic and international programs and agreements.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a significant opportunity to address the mounting environmental challenges facing the oceans,” said Courtney Sakai, senior campaign director at Oceana. “The severe overexploitation of marine resources is one of the most significant environmental challenges in the 21st century. The TPP can produce tangible gains for the oceans and the people that rely on them for jobs, food, and a better quality of life.”
All of the countries involved in the TPP have strong marine interests. Nearly all of the eight TPP countries are major marine fishing nations. The United States, Chile, Peru and Vietnam are among the top 15 global producers by volume. Australia and New Zealand are also significant producers and exporters of higher value fish. The United States is the second largest importer of seafood in the world, close behind Japan.
“Ocean resources have previously only received minimal attention in trade agreements,” said Sakai. “The TPP is a chance to promote green trade by investing in the natural resources that underline sustained growth and prosperity.”
Oceana serves as a formal advisor to the United States government on trade and environment policy and chairs a dedicated task force on fisheries.
In December 2009, the Office of the United States Trade Representative formally notified Congress of the Obama Administration’s intent to enter into negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement. The initial TPP negotiating partners included Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The first round of negotiations took place in Melbourne, Australia in March, 2010.