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Deb Wright

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Idea: Shift our paradigm of seas and oceans from exploitation to protection

Imagine we completely changed the way we think about oceans and seas, and that the present paradigm were turned on its head. Imagine that we forget about the notion of creating marine reserves, - areas of marine refuge, - of marine sanity, which are safe from depletion and ruin. Suppose the situation were reversed so that all oceans and seas were by default protected, and instead there were ‘commercial reserves’, - areas where commercial use is possible but only if it is well-managed and sustainable.
The underlying principle governing mankind’s use of the sea, would switch from that of exploitation to that of protection. It would be a principle of reason to replace a principle of idiocy, - the Principle of Worldwide Marine Protection, where the health of the marine environment always takes precedence over commercial interests.
All marine industries would be strictly regulated, and anyone who exploits the sea would have to prove that their activity is neither harmful nor unsustainable. Whether it be fishing, dredging, oil and gas extraction, shipping or whatever.
Existing international laws, such as United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and The Convention on Biological Diversity include measures to protect ocean life. However due to poor compliance and lack of enforcement, they have not prevented the relentless devastation and plunder of the sea by industry. The Principle of Worldwide Marine Protection would be established in law. It could be a development of UNCLOS, which already obliges nation states to protect the marine environment.
The world’s oceans and seas could finally be managed in an intelligent, ethical and sustainable way, for the common good of all species, mankind included.


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  • Nov 6 2012: This is a great idea that deserves deep thought. It is not uncommon for us to see the seas and oceans as some distant place and thus to underestimate the impact of its pollution. But such attitude is not surprising since we've also shown reluctance in giving urgent attention to industrial pollution that happens nearby.
    The need for sustainable environmental practices is more urgent than in the past.

    "Only after the last tree has been cut down
    Only after the last river has been poisoned
    Only after the last fish has been caught
    Only then will you find you cannot eat money" - Cree Proverb
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      Nov 11 2012: Hi Feyisayo

      Just to say thank you for your positive response to my idea....best wishes, Deb
      • Nov 11 2012: Thank you very much Deb Wright for spreading this laudable idea.
      • Nov 11 2012: Thank you very much Deb Wright for spreading this laudable idea.

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