In a newly released report, 21 conservationists, scientists, government representatives, and seafood industrialists have warned that the world’s oceans are in crisis due to overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification, and global warming.
The experts believe there are 10 years left to put the oceans on a path of sustainability. Otherwise, they caution, they are headed toward certain and irreversible decline.
World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans says ocean conservation will work only if financial benefits are clearly demonstrated. The solution, it says, lies in public-private partnerships that bring together fishing communities, corporations and governments.
The panel has suggested making the Mozambique Channel between East Africa and Madagascar a test case since the area is a major center of coral diversity in the Indian Ocean. The reefs and fisheries are facing potential catastrophe since there is a major uptick in tourism coupled with the discovery of natural gas and exploding population growth. If left unchecked, the ocean simply cannot survive the stresses.
The aim is to get the World Bank to give seed money for the test case in order to build large-scale public/private partnerships in a way to manage the resources in a way that will not irretrievably damage the oceans.