Declaration Regarding the Sovereignty and Exclusive Economic Zones of Coastal States
The sovereignty and exclusive economic zones of coastal states, located within 200 nautical miles (370 km) from their shores, are traversed by increasingly large commercial vessels – exceeding 200 meters in length – carrying containers of hazardous materials such as nitric acid and caustic soda, as well as plastic particle granules.
In May 2021, 18 km off the coast of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, a container ship ran aground: in addition to the 400 tons of oil spilled from its engines, 28 containers released 84 billion micro-plastic beads.
Due to the monsoon, it was not possible to respond until November!
On the beaches, the layer of microbeads reached a height of 2 meters.
The damage is immense, including for small fishermen who are now unemployed. Coral reefs are under attack, and there is a massacre in marine life: dolphins, whales, turtles, and fish are suffocated by the beads.
There has been little reaction in the media of wealthy countries!
So, what’s next? A (non-binding) resolution was adopted by the UN in March 2022 to draft a legally binding treaty on plastic pollution by 2025, but oil, gas, and plastic-producing countries obstructed it and delegated the task to an intergovernmental committee to draft a proposal in November 2023.
The FMTS calls on the UN to take control of the establishment of this treaty, which would include funding for its implementation by developed and oil-producing countries.
Évora, July 2023
Article on the FMTS-WFSW website: https://fmts-wfsw.org/2023/10/oceans-declaration-2023/?lang=en. This article contains a PDF document in four languages: EN, FR, SP and PT.