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World's Oceans In Crisis, Marine Experts Warn
By Jason Heller, October 29, 2007 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Allheadlinenews.com

An Intergovernmental Panel on the Oceans should be established to better inform policy-making, in much the same way as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does today, marine policy experts say. That conclusion was reached at a meeting of international marine policy experts that convened in New York. The experts warned that, in conjunction with the predicted effects of climate change, activities such as ocean iron fertilization, seismic testing and bioprospecting threaten to undermine the ocean's ability to sustain life. "Over fishing, destructive fishing practices, such as high seas bottom trawling, and other extractive activities have already resulted in serious declines in global fish stocks and marine biodiversity," said Kristina Gjerde, High Seas Policy Advisor to the World Conservation Union (IUCN). In Gland, Switzerland, the IUCN warned Wednesday that a crisis situation is developing in oceans that will require urgent measures and stronger international law to avoid catastrophic declines in ocean productivity According to the IUCN, oceans cover more than 71 percent of the Earth's surface and home to 97 percent of all life on earth. An increasingly significant percentage of the global population resides within the coastal margin, relying on coastal and marine ecosystems for food and income. "For most developing coastal nations these are the only means of survival," the IUCN says.

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