The identification of interactions between different sectors and the potential for cumulative impacts remains an unresolved issue in discussions about ABNJ. It has been perceived that the size of the ABNJ would limit the likelihood of potential interactions between different sectors. Following from this, it has been assumed that any interactions between human activity and the environment would be on a single sector basis.
Using a combination of International Seabed Authority (ISA) DSM lease areas for the Clarion Clipperton Zone, hotspots of fishing vessel activity in ABNJ across the region from vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) and FFA vessel databases, and the location of EBSAs potential interactions were examined.
The analysis identifies significant potential for the interaction between high seas fisheries vessels engaged in fishing and the operations of DSM contractors. The vessels that operate in this area are commonly long-liners that will lay several kilometres of fishing gear when engaged in fishing. It is possible that this fishing activity would interact with any exclusion zones that are established as DSM activity begins. These activities also overlap with the location of an EBSA that describes a petrel foraging area, leading to potential cumulative impacts.
The issue brief can be found at http://www.forumsec.org/resources/uploads/embeds/file/Issue_Brief%20_Clipperton_Ridge_May_%202015.pdf