The Global Ocean Commission is out with a scathing report on the state of our oceans. To put it bluntly, our oceans are on the brink of collapse. One area the report points out is the heavy subsidizing of fishing fleets. It isn’t advances of fishing technology allowing them to catch around 10 million per year, it’s the massive fuel subsidies that keeps the industry afloat.
In addition to the overfishing, the oceans are also suffering from increased pollution. Plastics are harming the ecosystem in a way that is causing a collapse in some species. Outside of pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and ocean acidification also pose dangers to the ecosystem.
In the report, the commission is urging governments to put the hammer down on these threats quickly. If not, it may be necessary to ban industrial fishing in some areas. Already, governments have implemented marine reserves and imposed off-limits areas that ban industrial fishing.
The issue with the zones and reserves are that they are not well guarded, and fishing vessels get into them without regard to the law.
This renewed call to protect the ocean comes about a week after President Obama outlined plans to create the world’s largest protected area in the south-central Pacific Ocean.
What the report shows is that you may create an area, but you better be ready to police it. Without enforcing the rules, who is to stop vessels from encroaching on designated off-limits zones.