Dogfish caught during a trawl survey. (Photo Credit: NOAA)
Damage to oceans could be reverted by a joint global effort
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 05:20 (GMT + 9)
A report backed by the World Bank is urging governments and worldwide public-private firms, as well as local communities to have a more active role in protecting the world's oceans from overfishing and irreversible pollution.
The document was presented by a panel of 21 experts from 16 countries, who include government leaders, entrepreneurs, conservationists and academics.
This international panel was set by the World Bank to advise the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO), a group in which more than 140 governments, international organizations, civil society groups and private sector entities, who are committed to finding solutions to this urgent problem, take part.
The international panel members have agreed that no magic solution to address the challenges faced byt the worldwide oceans, so they have suggested five main steps by which this urgent problem could be gradually reverted, thus ensuring effective GPO investments: 1) sustainable livelihoods, social equity and food security; (2) a healthy ocean; (3) effective governance systems; (4) long-term viability and (5) capacity building and innovation.
Chair of the panel and director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, pointed out that: "The same problems that are occurring for coral reefs in Thailand are occurring in Tanzania. This is about creating that platform where you could swap ideas and develop technologies as a global community."
The report further states that "a paradigm shift is needed in how we use and conserve ocean resources to address current inadequacies."
Some firms of the fishing industry have echoed this view. President and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods, Chris Lischewski, for example told Reuters that: "Sustainable fisheries is key to our future." And he regretted the fact that big corporate companies were often seen as the "bad guys" in the ocean management.
Another report issued by a group of international scientists concluded last week that a deadly trio of acidification, global warming and declining oxygen levels were threatening the health of oceans worldwide.
- Critical state of world oceans' acidification, scientists alert
By Gabriela Raffaele