The German government has agreed to sign the United Nation's High Seas Treaty to protect the world's oceans, reported dpa.
"We will now have the opportunity to better protect the oceans, which are so important," Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said on Wednesday in Berlin following the Cabinet meeting.
"There will be areas where fishing can no longer be indiscriminate. There will be areas where no deep-sea mining can take place and where protected areas for the marine environment can be established."
Until now, rules for nature conservation on the high seas have been lacking. "We are now closing this gap," the minister said.
With the High Seas Treaty, the world's states would make marine protection more concrete and binding, step by step, she added.
Lemke plans to sign the agreement next week together with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in New York.
After years of negotiations, the UN adopted the treaty in June. It creates the basis for the designation of large protected areas on the high seas.
It also establishes procedures for assessing the environmental impact of economic projects, expeditions and other activities on the oceans.
This is to apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a state, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic state, according to the UN.
Two-thirds of the oceans belong to the high seas and have thus been largely a lawless area until now.
- UN treaty
- High seas