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Unveiling the Hidden Dangers of Proposed Fisheries Act

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The proposed Fisheries Act has sparked significant concerns among the stakeholders due to the absence of adequate public consultation. While acknowledging the presence of positive elements, such as the incorporation of the Ecosystem Approach and alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 14, it is crucial to shed light on a perilous aspect that threatens the very essence of this legislation.

Undoubtedly, the inclusion of the Ecosystem Approach is a commendable step forward, reflecting a commitment to sustainable practices in fisheries management. This aligns harmoniously with Sustainable Development Goal 14, emphasizing the importance of conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources.Amidst the seemingly positive aspects of the proposed Fisheries Act, a lurking danger emerges in the form of unchecked ministerial powers. The act grants the minister the authority to unilaterally make changes with a single signature, a provision that poses a grave threat to the democratic principles and checks and balances required in governance.

This unchecked power undermines the essence of a scientific decision-making process, as decisions impacting the fisheries sector can be altered without due scrutiny. Such unilateral authority jeopardizes the interests of various stakeholders, as decisions made with a single signature may lack the comprehensive analysis and diverse perspectives that public consultation brings.While the act outwardly supports sustainable development goals, the concentration of power in the hands of a single individual contradicts the essence of sustainability. Sustainable development relies on a balance of economic, social, and environmental factors, all of which are better achieved through inclusive decision-making processes involving public consultation.

Urgent incorporation of comprehensive public consultations to gather diverse perspectives and ensure the act truly reflects the needs and concerns of all stakeholders.A critical reevaluation of the ministerial powers, emphasizing the need for checks and balances to prevent the misuse of authority and to safeguard democratic principles. Implementation of mechanisms to enhance transparency and accountability in decision-making processes, ensuring that the fisheries sector’s interests align with sustainable development goals.

While the proposed Fisheries Act brings positive elements like the Ecosystem Approach, the shadow of unchecked ministerial powers raises significant concerns. Striking a balance between progress and democratic values is imperative to ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for the fisheries sector. It is crucial to address these dangers promptly, promoting a legislative framework that stands true to its commitment to sustainable development and democratic governance.

 

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