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CRISIS IN THE OCEANS

AN ACTION AGENDA FOR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

We are all connected in the web of life.  There is no America first, China First, India first or other nationalistic solution to global environmental problems. In few areas is this more important than the case of the oceans because the oceans are not owned by anybody outside the maritime commercial zones of the world's nations.

Unfortunately the oceans today are in disastrous shape.  It's difficult to begin to even cover the scale of the disaster.  Overfishing is a total disaster.  The destruction of the coral reefs is a total disaster.  The acidification of the oceans due to climate change is a total disaster and perhaps most ominously of all, the poisoning of the oceans via the gigantic garbage islands that are all over the world.  These contain huge amounts of plastic, which are turning into microplastic and killing and poisoning whole sections of the ocean's life.  It is particularly horrifying that even in some of the deepest and most obscure parts of the oceans, like the Mariana Trench, plastic has been found.  The plastic is a direct threat to all life.

What should be done?  The first thing that should be done for the United States is to have U.S. intelligence agencies start monitoring the situation.  Specifically, U.S. intelligence agencies should start monitoring the world's fishing fleets, particularly the Chinese fishing fleets to see if they're doing what they claim they are doing.  The intelligence agencies should also monitor the plastic islands to see what the scale of those things are and where the plastic is coming from, and which countries are generating the plastic.  We should also monitor the coral reefs.

An all out campaign should be launched to clean up the garbage islands

The flow of plastic in the ocean must be drastically reduced.

This will require billions of dollars. The outflow of plastic from major countries needs to be curbed and drastic action needs to be taken about this. For example, if a particular river is seen as generating a huge amount of plastic, something needs to be done to prevent the plastic from getting into the ocean. This will require international cooperation because some countries may not be able to afford to pay for the actions that are needed to prevent the plastic from getting into the oceans out on the oceans. There needs to be a far larger creation of wildlife reserves where nature can replenish itself. An overall particular problem in our view is the lack of information about what's going on and the dependence on commercial interests for that information. This needs to end. Governments need to take charge of this. Specifically, the American government needs to do more to monitor this and not simply rely on what a country like China might or might not say.

The national security and foreign policy decision making parts of the U.S. government need to be restructured to deal with this.  In other words, there should be an oceans task force on the National Security Council and there should be an Oceans Department in the state Department. 

In the end, we need a much stricter set of international treaties, and equally important, if not more important, a system to enforce those treaties if we are to avoid having the oceans destroyed.


LINKS

RELATED REPORTS

Destruction of the World's Oceans

Plastic in Ocean  

Poison in The Blood

Midway Film

 

PLASTIC IN HUMAN INTESTINES

Microplastic in Human Stool (Reuters, 9-2-19)

Microplastics in Human Stool (The Guardian, 10-22-18)

Human Organs Can Absorb Microplastics, Say Scientists (Euro News, 8-19-20)

Study - Microplastics Reduce Lipid Digestion in Simulated Human Gastrointestinal System (Environmental Science and Technology, 8-14-20)

Study - Immunotoxicity and intestinal effects of nano- and microplastics: a review of the literature (Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 11-12-20)

 

PLASTIC IN THE OCEAN

Microplastics found for first time in Antarctic ice where krill source food (The Guardian, 4-22-20)

Krill may be breaking microplastics down into even smaller particles in our seas (Green News, 3-12-18)

Study - Turning microplastics into nanoplastics through digestive fragmentation by Antarctic krill (Nature Communications, 3-8-18)

There Will be More Plastic in the Oceans Than Fish by 2050 – Here’s How You Can Help! (One Green Planet, 2016)

5 countries dump more plastic into the oceans than the rest of the world combined (The World, 1-13-16)

How Does Plastic End Up In The Ocean? (World Wildlife Fund)

 

POLLUTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Bottom trawling releases as much carbon as air travel, landmark study finds (The Guardian, 3-17-21)