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London Convention Parties Express Concern over Ocean Fertilization

IMO2 November 2012: The 34th Consultative Meeting of States parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (London Convention), and to its 1996 Protocol (London Protocol), concluded with the release of an unanimous statement of concern regarding a reported incident of deliberate ocean fertilization activity off the west coast of Canada.

The incident reportedly involved the deliberate introduction of 100 metric tons of iron sulfate into surface waters. In the statement, parties recognize the actions of the Government of Canada in investigating the incident. Parties also reiterate that ocean fertilization activities should not be allowed unless for legitimate scientific research. They further emphasize that they will continue to work toward a global control and regulatory mechanism for ocean fertilization activities.

During the Joint Meeting, held from 29 October-2 November 2012, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters in London, UK, a working group on ocean fertilization convened to consider options and draft text for consideration at future meetings. As part of the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the London Convention, parties also celebrated the “strong legacy of tangible successes” left by this international convention. [Statement of Concern] [IMO Press Release, 25 October 2012] [IMO Press Release, 2 November 2012]