Today, April 22, 2016, is World Earth Day. We should be celebrating the World’s Ocean this Earth Day because the Governments have made impressive steps to protect them…with more to be done.
In many areas governments large or small are taking steps to protect the world’s oceans. Research has shown that prohibiting fishing in large fully protected marine reserves is critical to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and protecting the overall health of the marine environment. In the last 18 months 1.5 million sq. miles of ocean has been protected. Governments taking action are as diverse as the USA, the British, New Zealand, Chile, Netherlands, and Palau.
The Ocean’s belong to no one and so it is heartening to see the U.N. General Assembly has agreed to begin negotiations that could lead to marine reserves on the high seas, and a 5 country pact to refrain from fishing the Arctic Ocean’s international waters until science concludes that it won’t harm the ecosystem.
These are positive developments to be celebrated, movement in the right direction. However, considering that 72% of the Earth is covered by water, scientist’s say that in order to help the ocean’s deal with the pressures we put on it we need to set aside 30% in marine parks. With these latest steps, how ever good we have protected only 2%.
More needs to be done.
Save Earth Save Ourselves: Earth Day 2016