Scientific review finds pollution control and sustainable fishing could restore the “glory of the world’s oceans”.
A ground-breaking scientific review reveals that it is possible to restore the magnificence of the world’s oceans within a single generation. The report showcases remarkable recoveries of marine life, such as humpback whales in Australia, elephant seals in the US, and green turtles in Japan. For centuries, humanity has caused extensive harm to the oceans but now, moves towards sustainable fishing and pollution control have already made a mark.
In pollution control the scientific review found that legacy persistent organic pollution has declined even in marine environments like the Arctic that tend to accumulate them. The transition towards unleaded gasoline since the 1980s has reduced lead concentrations to concentrations comparable to baseline levels.
There have also been some positive ecosystem effects from pollution control, such as the recovery of seagrass meadows in the United States, Europe, the Baltic Sea and Japan.
The review added that isolated conservation triumphs are demonstrating the extraordinary resilience of the seas. The scientists contend that we now possess the knowledge necessary to revive marine life by 2050, creating an ocean renaissance that will fortify vital services that people rely on, such as food, coastal protection, and climate stability.
The required measures, which include safeguarding vast swaths of ocean, promoting sustainable fishing, and implementing pollution control, would require billions of dollars each year. However, the scientists assert that the benefits would be tenfold. Nevertheless, to safeguard the oceans from acidification, oxygen loss, and the annihilation of coral reefs, it is also necessary to confront the escalating climate crisis. The good news is that the scientists observe growing recognition of the ability of oceans and coastal habitats, such as mangroves and salt marshes, to swiftly absorb carbon dioxide and reinforce shorelines.