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China and U.S. announce fisheries and climate change deals

By Colin Ricketts - 12 May 2011 16:58:1 GMT
China and U.S. announce fisheries and climate change deals

The world's two largest economies, America and China, have reached new agreements on cooperation on fisheries and ocean management and greenhouse gas monitoring.

The two countries have agreed to meet regularly to discuss fishery policies to conserve marine resources and to better deal with illegal fishing. They hope to stop unregulated fish stocks from going on sale, monitor the management of threatened species and to reduce the toll of protected marine animals like sea turtles.

While the two countries are already members of international marine management organisations they hope that direct discussions will enhance the results of this cooperation.

''This joint commitment to consult on fisheries management and enforcement will strengthen the U.S.-China relationship on fisheries management and ensure more coordinated and comprehensive management of the fish and living marine resources on which both of our economies and fishing industries depend,'' said Russell Smith, deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The US and China have also announced they will work to find a joint approach to fisheries for the Indian and Southern Oceans and will also study how oceans act in climate change.

Climate change is also on the agenda in a new agreement on monitoring greenhouse gasses in China. The NOAA is already working with the Chinese Meteorological Administration and hopes to further this cooperation to improve research on how greenhouse gases behave.

Scientists from NOAA say that more observations will aid understanding of the carbon cycle and improve decision making on climate change issues.

The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue was set up by President Obama and President Hu in Washington in 2009. This new cooperation was announced after the third such meeting this week.