17K Marine Species Are Unprotected

Posted: Dec 4 2015, 4:53am CST | by , Updated: Dec 4 2015, 9:49pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

17K Marine Species are Unprotected
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  • Protection of Marine Life Forms is a Must

The experts say that the protection of marine life forms is a must. Without the proper balance of species, the earth’s biodiversity will be harmed in an irreversible manner.

Thousands of marine life forms are left at the mercy of hunters, fisheries and poachers. This lack of any safeguard leads to a decimation in their populations and it is the earth that suffers as a whole.

Scientists found that the United States ranks at the lowest end as far as protecting marine life was concerned. Over 17,348 species that lives in the deep blue sea were examined. These included whales, sharks, rays and other species of fish.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports recently. Over 97.4% of the marine species had less than 10% safeguard guarantees applied to them. Thus they were left to fend for themselves in the marine environment. The nations with the most species that needed protection included the USA, Canada and Brazil.

"The increase in the number of MPAs in recent years is encouraging, but most of this increase has come from a few very large MPAs," said Halpern, a professor at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and an associate of the campus's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

"Those very large MPAs provide important value, but they can mislead us into thinking that biodiversity is being well protected because of them. Species all around the planet need protection, not just those in some locations. Our results point out where the protection gaps exist."

While conservation agencies are doing all they can and have made a little bit of progress over the past few years, most of it has been a case of too little, too late.

The gap between expectations and reality is very huge. This is a dangerous trend. The goals have to be met if there is to be any marine biological conservation at all. At least 10% more protection status is supposed to be achieved within half a decade.

The regulation of the seafood industry is a definite step in the direction of protecting those species that are endangered. Already Japan has spurned a UN order to desist from whaling activities. Since whole livelihoods are at stake, the steps will have to be taken with care and caution.

The economic and social trades that revolve around the marine and maritime industries need to be kept in mind all the while. Without putting them first, no solution will be forthcoming. Man after all is the measure of all things. We humans cannot benefit from deep ecology where the requirements of animals and plants are put before our own needs.

Rather a balance is of the essence. The biodiversity consists of food webs and ecological niches. Every organism has an impact on every other organism. And this extends from the smallest to the largest. Man, who is currently at the top of the food chain, is responsible as an agent that is self-aware for keeping the balance of Nature intact.

"As most marine biodiversity remains extremely poorly represented, the task of implementing an effective network of MPAs is urgent," noted co-author James Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland.

"Achieving this goal is imperative not just for nature but also for humanity, as millions of people depend on marine biodiversity for important and valuable services."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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