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Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

New Project Coordinator for the Deep Seas Project

7 March 2018

The Common Oceans ABNJ Program is happy to announce that William Emerson has been recruited to be the new Project Coordinator for the Common Oceans ABNJ Deep Seas Project, and that he will be joining the team at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' (FAO) headquarters, in Rome, Italy in April 2018.


Dr William Emerson © FAO

This is William's second stint at FAO. Between 2003 and 2012 he was a Senior Fishery Industry Officer (Trade) and secretary of the FAO's Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (FAO's forum for consultations on technical and economic aspects of international trade in fish and fishery products). 

William has a PhD in resource economics from the University of Rhode Island and an undergraduate degree in fishery biology. He is an American and Portuguese National with a permanent residency in New Zealand, were he has been working with the Ministry responsible for fisheries management in New Zealand (1997 to 2003 and 2012 to 2017). His work focused on international fisheries issues and worked closely with Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, including the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), serving as New Zealand's Commissioner to CCSBT from 2001-2003, and the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation.

Furthermore, he also worked for 5 years at the OECD (1992 to 1997) specialising in fisheries management, economic assistance, and trade and environment issues, and as a consultant to the World Bank. Previous that to that he was with the American administration at the National Marine Fisheries Service as an international trade specialist (1987 to 1992) and for a fisheries research institute in Portugal (1980 to 1981).

William said that he looks forward to join the Common Oceans ABNJ Program's deep seas fisheries team and to collaborate with its various partners and stakeholders, but also that he will be participating at the second Project Steering Committee meeting that has been scheduled to take place in April.

The Common Oceans ABNJ Deep Seas Project is funded by Global Environment Fund and implemented by FAO and UN Environment. The partnership brings together a broad range of partners, including regional fisheries bodies responsible for the management of deep-sea fisheries, fishing industry partners, and international organizations to achieve sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation of deep-sea living resources in the areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

For additional information about the Common Oceans ABNJ Program and the Deep Seas Project, please visit the website, or contact:

Ms Jacqueline Alder, Coordinator of the Common Oceans ABNJ Program | Jacqueline.Alder@fao.org

Global Environment Facility (GEF) Common Oceans UN Environment