On the heels of international climate talks in Paris, the World Wildlife Fund has released a startling review of the status of our oceans titled “Living Blue Planet Report.” The WWF and the Zoological Society of London releases a bi-annual report that details the state of our planets “health” or homeostatic condition, but this report, released just a couple of months ago, has an amplified message, explaining how we as a species have mismanaged our oceans to the extent of imminent collapse. “When I wrote the foreword to the 2014 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, I said it was not for the faint-hearted. This edition – a deep dive into the health of marine species and the habitats on which they depend – is equally if not more sobering” explains Marco Lambertini Director General at WWF International.
Although the report tells a grim tale of our current state, it also spends much time offering solutions and reinforcing our innate ability to create change. “The good news is there are abundant opportunities to reverse these trends,” said Brad Ack, senior vice president for oceans at WWF. “Stopping black market fishing, protecting coral reefs, mangroves and other critical ocean habitats, and striking a deal in Paris to slash carbon pollution are all good for the ocean, the economy, and people. Now is the time for the US and other world players to lead on these important opportunities.” Please follow this link to view the ENTIRE REPORT FOR FREE but if you don’t have time to read the entire study, please review these stunning statements written at the beginning of the paper:
- Nearly 3 billion people rely of fish as a major source of protein.
- Overall, Fisheries and Aquaculture assure the livelihoods of 10-12 percent of the world’s population.
- 60 percent of the world’s population lives within 100km of the coast.
- Marine invertebrates populations have declined 49 percent between 1970 and 2012.
- Populations of fish species utilized by humans have fallen by half, with some of the most important species experiencing even greater declines.
- Around one in four species of sharks, rays, and skate is now threatened with extinction, due primarily to overfishing.
- Tropical reefs have lost more than half their reef-building corals of the past 30 years.
- Worldwide, nearly 20 percent of mangrove cover was lost between 1980 and 2005.
- 29 percent of marine fisheries are overfished. If current levels continue, the ocean will become too warm for coral reefs by 2050.
- Seabed mining licenses cover 1.2 million square kilometers of ocean floor.
- more than 50 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tonnes are in the sea.
- Oxygen-depleted dead zones are growing as a result of nutrient run-off.
- The ocean generates economic benefits worth at least US$2.5 trillion dollars per year.
- Just 3.4 percent of the ocean is protected, and only part of this is effectively managed.
- Increasing Marine Protected Area coverage to 30 percent could generate up to US$920 Billion dollars between 2015 and 2050.