Oceans Under Pressure
For centuries humans have relied on coastal and marine environments to survive, develop and prosper. However, our current levels of exploitation of our oceans and coastlines have reached unprecedented levels. Marine and coastal areas without any human activity are virtually none-existent. Coastal populations continue to rise accompanied by more activities, properties, businesses and industries, while rising sea levels make the long term viability of some of those communities uncertain. Anthropogenic activities are destroying marine habitats, reducing biodiversity and bringing some species to the point of extinction.
Essential to Life
In spite of international, national and regional agreements in place designed to manage the social, economic and environmental aspects of our coastal regions and marine habitats, there is still more that needs to be done. The reason is simple; without the oceans life on earth cannot exist. The oceans are our primary life support system. They provide 60% of the oxygen we breathe, absorb the carbon dioxide and toxins we carelessly discard into the environment and provide food for billions of people. The oceans contain 80% of life on earth and are crucial to the climate system that we are used to and enjoy.
The three most critical aspects impacting on our oceans are over fishing, marine debris and the rising sea temperatures leading to habitat destruction. All of these are contributing to the destruction of marine ecosystems and the reduction of biodiversity. They will also, inevitably have an impact on human health, well being and survival. Alongside these critical aspects that be highlighted we believe that that others that must be addressed. Cetaceans have no place in captivity and the notion that it is acceptable to continue to keep Orcas and Dolphins in small tanks for entertainment is outdated and barbaric. Shark finning to meet an insatiable market that is based on social status rather than nutritional requirements must also come to an end as must the slaughter of whales and dolphins for food, or ‘research’.