This past week, countries meeting in Doha at the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species voted down a proposal by Monaco and the United States to ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna. The species, Thunnus Thynnus, is spiraling toward extinction, and is listed as endangered by the U.N. and every major international conservancy group.
This outcome underscores the need for policy makers and those charged with execution of policy to factor in the serious crisis that the world’s oceans and riverine systems face: our Blue Economy in peril.
A major issue for the world’ s coastal regions are the rise of Dead Zones. These vast expanses of ocean contain oxygen levels that are too low to support life outside of algal blooms. The Gulf of Mexico Dead
Zone is the size of New Jersey, or approximately 22, 608 square kilometers. The hypoxic state of these dead zones is caused by run-off from fertilizers used in industrial agriculture. Some recent informal polling at i-say.com conducted by Fund Balance gives some hope that the issue registers with the public. In addition, Fund Balance learned from several Iowan farm ope
rators about their efforts to reduce their run off: from relocating feed lots farther away from rivers, to applying buffers made of specific nitrogen loving indigenous plants and compounds of gravel and sand. Many have realized economic gains from reducing nitrogen application to crops and benefited from increased production. Informative coverage on these Dead Zones can be found at Link TV.
Such activity makes important steps forward. These actions require increased attention from agronomists, urban planners, policy makers and consumers. Just last week major media expanded its coverage of Dead Zones off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. Such man-made disasters unfold daily in the Chesapeake Bay as well as in within coastal regions across the globe.