Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Somethng fishy about marine parks

Europe’s marine wildlife sanctuaries are no more than “paper parks” that are failing to protect the seas.

European seas, from the North East Atlantic ocean to the Adriatic, are in a “poor condition”, with coastal states failing to meet targets to protect marine wildlife, a report by WWF has concluded.

The patchy effort means that wildlife in the Baltic, North Sea and Mediterranean remains vulnerable to overfishing, bottom trawling, drilling for oil or gas, or noise coming from wind turbines being hammered into the seabed. 

Janica Borg, lead author of the study, said, “There is no one issue to be singled out. We have really good nature laws…the problem is implementation. Shortcuts are made, derogations are allowed from some of these laws and that means what was intended to be a good way to protect European nature is falling short.”

WWF argues that short-term economic interests have been prioritised for too long.

 “Traditionally, marine protection has been seen as a sideline activity,” Borg said. “It is easy at first to put your fisheries in place, to put your shipping in place and only then to start looking at the area we have for conserving nature. But that is actually the wrong way round. Marine protection isn’t a hobby…It is something we do because it is absolutely imperative for having any kind of sustainable economy in the future.”

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