16 January 2015
Re “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says” (front page, Jan. 16), about new, groundbreaking research published on Thursday in the journal Science:
The world’s international waters, or high seas, are a modern-day Wild West, with weak rules and few sheriffs. Staving off ocean collapse requires urgent international action to preserve these waters, which make up two-thirds of the world’s oceans and cover nearly half the planet.
Next week, countries will gather at the United Nations to decide whether to strengthen conservation of the high seas, which lack basic modern conservation tools, including the ability to establish fully protected marine sanctuaries where ocean life is protected from seabed mining, bottom trawl fishing that clear-cuts the ocean floor and other damaging industrial activity.
An overwhelming majority of countries now support developing a new international agreement to modernize high seas conservation and management, which is crucial to preventing the mass extinction of marine life so terrifyingly depicted in your article.
It’s not too late to act. World leaders hold the future of the oceans in their hands.
New York, Jan. 16, 2015
The writer is international oceans program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
For more information, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/17/opinion/preserving-the-oceans.html?emc=eta1&_r=0