If there is an ecosystem that is helpless today, they are the oceans. Currently, the laws for the preservation of these marine spaces only regulate a 1.2% of the global extension of international waters, and they work based on a treaty from 40 years ago. Meanwhile, fishing and shipping lanes are progressively affecting the ecosystem, and not in a positive way. Without going further, Hundreds of whales are killed by ships every year.not to mention the many species that are threatened by poaching practices and illegal fishing in high sea. Luckily, this is about to change.
More than 10 years ago, the UN put on the table the idea of creating a treaty to preserve ocean life, but as always happens, they ran into the money. Fishing rights created friction between nations, and the proposed ended up fading away until it was practically forgotten. Now, 10 years later, the UN has finally managed to close it. After more than 38 hours of negotiation at the New York headquarters, the organization has finally voted in favor of protecting the oceans, and the “Treaty of the High Seas”.
The goal is to protect 30% of the oceans before the end of the decade
This new document advocates protect and restore marine life by proclaiming 30% of the world’s oceans as protected areas by 2030. Regulations will begin to be applied progressively with the objective of end irresponsible fishing and the pollution and environmental impact that the transatlantic shipping. There are many marine species that today are in danger of extinctionand this new treaty is the first ray of hope they see in 40 years. Greenpeace have been among the first to applaud the new measures.
“We thank the Nations for putting aside differences and signing a treaty that will allow us to protect the oceans, develop our commitment against climate change and safeguard the lives and livelihoods of billions of people”
Those “livelihoods” that Laura Meller, an ocean activist for Greenpeace Nordic, speaks of have been key to the negotiations. The seabed contains materials, biological resources, plants and animals that we use daily to manufacture all kinds of materials and medicines. Protect these spaces in order to make responsible use of these materials has been what has prompted the UN to speed up the closing of the agreement. Dividing up ocean resources is not easy, but with this new initiative the intention will be to do it sustainably while protecting our oceans in the process. The wait has been long, but better late than never.