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World Oceans Day: Government needs to treat fishing communities better by Maia Nangle June 10,2020   |  Source: GroundUp

According to the United Nations, the World Oceans Day (8 June) is a day for “celebrating the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspiring action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources”. Yet small-scale fishing communities have little to celebrate. Despite the recognition of the small-scale fishing sector in the Amendment to the Marine Living Resources Act, they are still extremely marginalised and over 10,000 small-scale fishers have been excluded from accessing their traditional fishing rights.

The World Oceans Day Network celebration is focused on the sustainability and conservation of the oceans, aimed at achieving 30% protection of the oceans by the year 2030 (“30x30”) in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 14.

While it is important to address the challenges in the ocean, such as biodiversity loss, this narrative often lacks a human rights perspective, and raises the question of who is benefiting from the ocean and who it belongs to. It is imperative that the protection and use of the world’s oceans and resources includes coastal communities in order to ensure social and environmental justice.

The current global discourse on sustainable development of the oceans comes with a focus on the Blue


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Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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