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These issues and the nexus between them need to be addressed in tandem.

They are also being deliberated on in other regional and global fora.

The world’s oceans support economic activities on a vast scale, and the need to rehabilitate and protect their common wealth and productivity has led the international community to focus intensely on how oceans are used and governed.

A critical component of that equation is sound fisheries governance, especially in terms of achieving long-term sustainable management of living marine resources, a precondition for maintaining their social and economic value (Box 5).

The cumulative economic loss to the global economy over the last three decades is estimated to be in the order of US$2 trillion.

In many countries, the catching operations are buoyed up by subsidies, so that the global fishery economy to the point of landing (the harvest subsector) was in deficit in the study’s base year (2004).

With respect to the implementation of international fisheries instruments (e.g.

the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement), it is recognized that there is an element of self-interest in the provision of development assistance.

Intrinsically linked to this goal is the need to ensure greater responsibility and accountability by all individuals and private companies involved in the harvesting, processing and marketing of fish.

More broadly, and also taking account of the potential for endemic corruption in resource-based industries , sustainable management outcomes (including poverty reduction and alleviation, improved food security, stronger economic development and growth, and greater access to public services) depend to a large extent on concurrent improvements in public governance.

More fish stocks are overexploited, overcapacity in fishing fleets remains problematic, income levels of fishers remain depressed and fish prices have stabilized or even fallen while the costs of harvesting fish have increased.

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