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It is a global movement to raise awareness of the under-monitored and murky politics of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, to support equal stakeholder access to RFMO decision-making processes, and improve the accountability and visibility of RFMO decision-making.

There are two main problems with the current international fisheries management system: the secrecy and obscurity of its decisionmaking processes, and the structural tilt of the world’s RFMOs in favor of industrial fisheries interests. Without these being addressed, the RFMO system is not only incapable of managing the world’s fisheries appropriately; it is a wholly inadequate vehicle for the kind of integrated approach to oceans management that the world’s ecosystems require at this crucial time.

Led by Global Director Ryan Orgera, a veteran international ocean governance advocate, Accountability.Fish is financially supported by the Oceans 5 Foundation. Working with a team of freelance communication, fisheries specialists and governance experts around the world, Accountability.Fish works with media, market players, civil society groups and RFMO insiders to collect key information and challenge the status quo.

The “dot” is illustrative of the nature of our challenge – to bring global fisheries decision-making into the twenty-first century. There is no excuse for crucial economic and natural decisions to be made largely in secret in a world where nearly everyone has a cell-phone and a social media account.

Accountabilty.Fish intends to ramp up its outreach activities engage a broader coalition in support of the Equal Access Principles draw further attention to the secrecy and opacity of RFMO decision-making practices, and engage third parties to consider exerting market pressure on RFMOs and their members who persist in blocking changes to the current system.

The Equal Access Principles is an initiative involving a broad spectrum of market, conservation and civil society organizations to promote a specific set of open governance principles for all RFMOs to adopt. Endorsers of the Equal Access Principles are merely endorsing the Principles themselves, and do not become members or endorsers of Accountability.Fish.

No. Accountability.Fish is “policy-agnostic” – with a single-issue focus on improving openness and accountability in the world’s fisheries management system.

What we want to do is introduce twenty-first century accountability – directly involving market players, conservationists and civil society organizations in the effort to open the governance of the world’s fisheries, and, by extension, of the world’s oceans.

Just because the current system is outmoded doesn’t mean that it is unfixable. But it’s not a system that’s about to fix itself. Making fisheries governance a visible and public issue, and involving a broad coalition of stakeholders can potentially make the status quo untenable for the countries and organizations that currently support it.

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