Ocean week is a UN hosted week dedicated to talks and efforts to save our oceans from countless pressing issues: plastic pollution, acidification, overfishing… to name a few.
In 2010 the UN’s Goal was to protect 20% of the ocean by 2020… today it’s to protect 30% by 2030. How much of it is protected right now? Around 5%. We indeed think the urgency to take action should be taken seriously, and here are some ideas on how the UN can promote its Goal.
1. Increase MPAs
- Marine Protected Areas work. Essentially they are are marine zones where fishing is limited, constantly patrolled by police to maintain fish stocks healthy.
- MPAs need the support of their governments to succeed, in order to successfully stop illegal fishing.
- The UN can find support for MPAs in governments by demonstrating case studies where MPAs have greatly increased fish stocks and tourism. Examples: Palau and Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
Another article you might like: The Wonderful Tale of Raja Ampat
2. Create a better legal framework for International Seas
- 43% of the ocean is lawless, and belongs to everyone. This area is known as the “high seas”
- In 1963 the UN set up the UNCLOS—UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This established ocean boundaries, as well as general obligations on safeguarding marine environment, and the International Seabed Authority which regulates the ocean floor from mining activities.
- Some countries aren’t part of UNCLOS including USA and Peru.
- UNCLOS should be revisited. Taken the high seas into consideration, putting pressure on big fishing nations such as USA and Peru to become signatories. Placing stronger regulation on deep sea mining, a long with fishing regulations, moratoriums, and sanctions to countries who let agricultural runoff enter their waterways.
- The UN has been trying to sign a new High Seas Treaty for the last 10 years without success.