A recipe for saving the worlds oceans from an extinction crisis

August 14th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 14 (ANI): A scientist has outlined a number of steps that could reverse the demise of the oceans.

According to Jeremy Jackson, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the following steps, if taken immediately, could reverse the destruction of the oceans.

They are: establish marine reserves, enforce fishing regulations, implement aquaculture, remove subsidies on fertilizer use, muster human ingenuity to limit fossil fuel consumption, buy time by establishing local conservation measures.

These steps are mentioned in Jacksons article, titled Ecological Extinciton and Evolution in the Brave New Ocean.

In this article, Jackson reviews a series of studies that bolster initial observations that exploitation and pollution of estuaries and coastal seas, coral reef ecosystems, continental margins and the open ocean continue unabated.

He predicts that overfishing will lead to extinction of edible species and have an indirect effect on other levels of the food chain.

Larger dead zones and toxic algal blooms may merge along the coastal zones of all of the continents. Disease outbreaks will increase. Vertical mixing of ocean waters may be inhibited resulting in disrupted nutrient cycles.

Some may say that it is irresponsible to make such predictions pending further detailed study to be sure of every point. However, we will never be certain about every detail, and it would be irresponsible to remain silent in the face of what we already know, said Jackson.

Despite Jacksons bleak prognosis for a brave new ocean, he clearly identifies lack of political will and the greed of special interests as standing in the way of establishing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

Simply enforcing the standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the US National Marine Fisheries Service would result in major improvements in US waters within a decade, he said. (ANI)

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