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Scientists Warn That ‘New Rules’ Are Urgently Needed to Protect the Oceans

Source: BBC News/Roger Harrabin - July 13, 2017 in Featured, Politics

Scientists Warn That ‘New Rules’ Are Urgently Needed to Protect the Oceans
Photo: Ellmax Photos

New rules are urgently needed to protect life in the open seas, scientists have warned.

A report to a UN ocean conference in New York points out that more than 60% of the ocean has no conservation rules as it’s outside national jurisdiction.

It says the open ocean is at risk from climate change, over-fishing, deep sea mining, farm pollution and plastics.

The authors say one area – the Bay of Bengal – is at a tipping point which could impact on global fish stocks.

The report was commissioned to inform delegates preparing a UN resolution on governance of the open ocean.

Representatives in New York are preparing a text that could cover everything from establishing marine protected areas to distributing the benefits of valuable biotech products generated from the seas.

One of the report’s authors, Prof Alex Rogers from Oxford University, told BBC News: “This is very, very important. A lot of states are looking towards developing industrial activities in the ocean – fishing, deep-sea mining, renewable energy… even aquaculture offshore.

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