Governments Make ‘Pitiful’ Progress on Oceans
Little has been done to protect marine life since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, conservation scientists conclude. On pledges to protect key habitat and restrict the size of fishing fleets, they say progress has been “pitiful”. Their analysis is carried in the journal Science and is being discussed during final preparations for the Rio+20 summit. Conservationists were delighted by Australia’s move to set up the world’s largest network of marine reserves. But globally, the picture is bleak, they say.
Governments vowed to establish an ecologically sound network of marine reserves by 2012, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal fishing, protect critical habitat, look after the needs of local fishermen and restore depleted stocks to healthy levels by 2015. Subsidies have not been eliminated, and illegal fishing is still a major issue in some parts of the world. Little over 1% of the seas are protected.