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Bali Meeting Outlines Plan to Save Oceans

'Bali Action Plan' for Marine Conservation Adopted at Meeting of APEC Maritime Ministers in Bali.

(9/23/2005) At a meeting of Ministers of the 20 member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Group (APEC) held at the 2nd APEC Ocean-related Ministerial Meeting in Bali September 16-17, 2005 a "Bali Plan of Action" was adopted to help save the world's oceans.

The meeting, co-chaired by Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Geoff Regan and Indonesia's Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Freddy Numberi, approved a plan calling for urgent steps to be taken to make the world's oceans environmentally and economically sustainable.

Outlining three main areas of concern, the "Bali Action Plan" provides for balancing conservation and sustainable use; providing for sustainable economic benefits from the oceans; and, enabling sustainable development of coastal communities.

Specific performance points of the Action Plan approved by APEC's Maritime Ministers include:

Address the role of oceans for food security and economic prosperity, especially for coastal communities;

Stress the reform of fisheries and oceans management as the key to future prosperity;

Address the threats of marine invasive species, pollution, and marine debris - as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;

Encourage the use of science and other tools to integrate an ecosystems approach to fisheries and oceans management and designate marine protected areas.

Under the terms of the "Bali Action Plan," the Ministers from the participating governments have agreed to be held accountable for benchmarking the current status of their surrounding sea environments and achieving measurable progress towards cleaner, healthier oceans by the end of the current decade.