This policy paper focuses on the depletion of fisheries in the past 20 years, and the urgent need for governments to implement existing policies within the sustainable development framework put forward at the Earth Summit in 1992. It highlights gaps in ocean management, and aims to inform discussions and negotiations in the run-up to the Rio+20 conference in June 2012.

The authors urge the international community to implement commitments made as part of the Earth Summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals. They also identify eight additional areas for action by the international community as part of a 'pathway to a green economy'.

The paper singles out marine fisheries and marine biodiversity as two key elements of discussions at Rio+20, and argues that there can be no green economy without a blue economy and sustainable marine ecosystems.