Our friends at the Guardian aren’t in the business of making us feel good about ourselves. It’s not their job! They are independent journalists! Scroll through their ‘Environment’ section and you’ll see. One horrifying prediction or news item after another.
But now, we can rejoice. We did something that isn’t the end of the world! We saved some fish! Or did we…?
Protected marine areas now cover 27 million square km
The guys in Zodiacs are finally winning! Marine nature preservation areas have been staked out covering a total area 5 times that of the United States.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘The United States isn’t really that big. Canada is bigger. Russia is bigger. Australia might be bigger. So whatever!’ We say whatever to you, Negative Nancy.
I know what else you’re thinking: ‘Won’t the fishermen and whaling fleets park at the edge of these areas and absolutely clean up?’
I know what else you’re thinking: ‘Doesn’t the water in the sea move around all over the place? How can you really stop all the plastic we dump in the ocean from washing over in the protected refuges?
And the Guardian is not shy to point out that we can’t really police these areas that well, anyway:
There are still considerable problems, including communication weaknesses, dubious classification and national competition for ever scarcer resources. China does not share maps of its protected areas and will not allow the other data it submits to be used publicly. The UK has publicly committed to a goal of classifying 30% of oceans as protected, but some of the marine conservation zones in its own waters provide very limited protection for biodiversity. Britain has also approved fracking in a national park, contrary to IUCN guidelines that extractive activities are incompatible.
Fracking in a national park? That’s crazy!
In any event, it’s the thought that counts. We did our best!