Danson Meets with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, Oceana Offers 5 Steps Towards Achieving Sustainable Fisheries

Nov 07, 2007, 00:00 ET from Oceana

    GENEVA, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Ted Danson, award-winning actor and
 longtime ocean advocate, met with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-
 General Pascal Lamy tonight about the threat subsidies pose to the world's
 fisheries and how the WTO can halt this major catalyst of global
 overfishing. Danson's visit to Geneva coincides with a critical point in
 ongoing WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies in which a draft agreement
 is expected within weeks.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071107/NEW163 )
     "The WTO has a vital contribution to make in protecting the world's
 fish stock, in saving it from depletion," said Lamy.
     Oceana, the world's largest organization dedicated to protecting and
 restoring the world's oceans, also released a new paper this week that
 offers 5 steps the WTO can take to promote sustainability in a trade
 agreement on fisheries subsidies. Some key recommendations include that
 subsidies should only be provided to fisheries that are not overexploited
 and by countries that have effective fishery management systems in place.
     "It is time we start thinking of blue as the new green," said Danson.
 "If we want the world to be able to eat fish and make a living off of the
 oceans, we must stop the subsidies that are driving the collapse of the
 world's fisheries."
     A 2006 study by a leading team of international fishery scientists
 concluded that the 29 percent of the world's fisheries are in collapse and
 if current overfishing trends continue all commercial fish populations will
 be beyond repair within decades (by 2048). A recent study by the University
 of British Columbia estimates harmful subsidies -- those that promote
 fishing capacity -- to be at least $20 billion annually, an amount
 equivalent to approximately 25 percent of the value of the world catch.
     About Ted Danson: You might know Ted Danson from his lead role in the
 hit TV series Cheers, but for over twenty years he has been dedicated to
 marine conservation. Danson began his environmental career in 1987 when he
 started the American Oceans Campaign. In 2001, he joined forces with Oceana
 to create a greater global impact for the world's oceans and today remains
 seated on Oceana's board of directors.
     About Oceana: Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world's
 oceans. Our teams of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates
 win specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent
 the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea
 life. Global in scope and dedicated to conservation, Oceana has campaigners
 based in North America (Washington, DC; Juneau, AK; Monterey, CA; Portland,
 OR), Europe (Madrid, Spain; Brussels, Belgium) and South America (Santiago,
 Chile). More than 300,000 members and e-activists in over 150 countries
 have already joined Oceana.