World Oceans Day, June 8, can be a saving grace

Articles
May 19, 2009

World Oceans Day, June 8, can be a saving grace

There’s no accurate accounting of the damage that man has inflicted on food supplies or the ocean itself over the past 16 years through industrial pollution, waste dumping, over-fishing and reckless fishing that imperil untargeted species. It’s increasingly clear, however, that man’s compromise of the ocean may soon reach a tipping point, and that nations need to agree on, establish and enforce more sustainable practices. It has been 16 years since the idea of a World Oceans Day—to raise public support to reverse the declining health of marine eco-systems—was first floated before the United Nations. Since then, hundreds of museums, conservation organizations, agencies, along with the ocean protection and restoration group Oceana (www.oceana.org), have pushed for the UN recognition. Three-quarters of the world’s fisheries are now over-exploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from over-exploitation, reports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. “The good news, says Andrew Sharpless, the chief executive of Oceana, “is that restoring abundant oceans is the most solvable global ecological challenge that we face today.” For this effort to make a more immediate difference, we at SupermarketGuru.com believe, the entire supply chain needs to galvanize in favor of ocean reform. The June 8 day is a fine symbol that represents the magnitude of what needs to be done. But the hard work will be achieved by vested interests establishing smarter, more efficient and protective ways to bring safe, quality seafood to market.

There’s no accurate accounting of the damage that man has inflicted on food supplies or the ocean itself over the past 16 years through industrial pollution, waste dumping, over-fishing and reckless fishing that imperil untargeted species.

It’s increasingly clear, however, that man’s compromise of the ocean may soon reach a tipping point, and that nations need to agree on, establish and enforce more sustainable practices.

It has been 16 years since the idea of a World Oceans Day—to raise public support to reverse the declining health of marine eco-systems—was first floated before the United Nations. Since then, hundreds of museums, conservation organizations, agencies, along with the ocean protection and restoration group Oceana (www.oceana.org), have pushed for the UN recognition. 

Three-quarters of the world’s fisheries are now over-exploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from over-exploitation, reports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. “The good news, says Andrew Sharpless, the chief executive of Oceana, “is that restoring abundant oceans is the most solvable global ecological challenge that we face today.”

For this effort to make a more immediate difference, we at SupermarketGuru.com believe, the entire supply chain needs to galvanize in favor of ocean reform. The June 8 day is a fine symbol that represents the magnitude of what needs to be done. But the hard work will be achieved by vested interests establishing smarter, more efficient and protective ways to bring safe, quality seafood to market.

Politicians have the power, but the industry (including retailers) and scientists need to engage, get involved and lobby the UN and their own governments on matters of fishing and environmental reforms that will help marine life and the ocean itself get healthier. If stores in particular market their passion for this issue, many consumers will give them rightful credit for the responsibilities they’re demonstrating. People may well feel more confident in the seafood sold in those stores as well, and regard the retailers as both careful guardians and purveyors of these protein-packed underwater wonders.