Famous Oceanographer Calls for Global Fishing Ban to Save Earth’s “Blue Heart”
World leaders must ban industrial fishing to preserve the ocean, a key weapon in the fight against climate change, marine biologist and oceanographer Sylvia Earle said this week.
Earle, 86, spoke at the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow this week, participating in panel discussions with politician and environmentalist Al Gore and US climate envoy John Kerry, among others.
“This is the number one priority, because we have the chance, all of a sudden, to save the blue heart of the planet”, she said. “This is where most of the oxygen from the ocean is generated. This is where most of the carbon is absorbed.
The unprecedented growth of the industrial fishing industry has depleted marine life at an alarming rate, and a third of commercial fish populations are caught at biologically unsustainable levels, according to the Food Organization of the United Nations and agriculture said in a 2018 report.
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“All of this wildlife removed from the ocean not only affects biodiversity and promotes accelerated extinctions, it breaks the carbon cycle – the chain of nutrients that sustains the fabric of life on Earth,” Earle said.
Earle passed more than 7,000 hours underwater and holds a 1979 record for the deepest unattached dive by a woman, descending 1,250 feet. She was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Time Magazine named her its first Hero of the Planet in 1998.
“It’s frustrating to be able to see the future so clearly, to have spent years at sea and thousands of hours under the sea, and to realize that so many people cannot see it”, a- she said on Wednesday. “Climatologists say, ‘Look, we have about 10 years to make or break our behavior towards nature. “
Earle argued that only a handful of communities depend on ocean life for food, but “many more depend on it for money, using wild animals as a source of income.”
A vegetarian who hasn’t eaten fish for at least four decades, Earle said humanity has “abused” the ocean, which she called a “living system, a biogeochemical miracle, that protects us in a way. universe that has no in the life support system.
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