Sounds Iranian

October 20, 2007

Pop!Tech:Save Oceans

Filed under: Pop!Tech — soundsiranian @ 8:17 pm

deep.jpgParis Marashi reports from Pop!Tech conference:For us to lead healthy lives, we need healthy oceans. With oceans taking up 75% of the planets surface, and 99% of its volume, it is without doubt that what happens in the ocean has a major impact on our lives. Today Claire Nouvian, Enric Sala, and Ted Ames gave some insight into the way that the damage of our oceans have occurred, and possible solutions to these problems.

Claire Nouvian, a filmmaker, journalist, and now the curator for a deep sea exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, explains how deep sea creatures (such as those in the image above) are a mystery to many, and the major threats that occur as a result of deep sea mining, dumping, and trawling. Bottom trawling is a fishing method that destroys tons of fish within seconds. For example, seven tons of Orange Roughy can be caught within 20 seconds. These fish mature around the age of 20-25, and some live to be 200 years old. She argues that if we are fishing so rapidly, especially since these fish take so long to reach sexual maturity, they may very well go extinct.

Enric Sala describes our study of the coral reefs. His metaphor explains it best: “Imagine you are an alien from another galaxy who has heard Earth has something called cars. Your spaceship lands in a junkyard beside a rusting automobile with a dead engine and no instruction manual. There is just enough power in the battery to start the windshield wipers when you press a button. From this you deduce that a car is something that allows you to contemplate a landscape comfortably when it’s raining. This is just like marine science. People started researching marine ecosystems long after they were damaged by human over-fishing, pollution, coastal development, and global warming. We’ve been studying this rusty car for too long, it’s time for a new approach. To know what marine systems are truly capable of we must look at the few pristine places that remain.”

Hence, Sala is creating new initiatives that allow interested people to save the oceans while taking a trip to some of the worlds most beautiful waters. His plan is to protect these unexplored areas of the ocean and bring a small number of tourists to pay money, people from the media and national geographic to document these developments, and to empower the local communities who live in these areas to protect the integrity of these pristine ocean environments.

Ted Ames brought up some fascinating solutions to problems he has witnessed to extinctions that have occurred in the course of his own lifetime. For example, the lobsters of maine fisheries were almost depleted in 1932, and today they are at 76% of Maine’s industry. To save the other fish of the region, they can use the similar methods and techniques used to increase the lobster population. This includes the protection of their habitat and reproducing females, control over the amount of fishing taking place, and an apprentice program.

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