Reuters News Service, April 9, 2008
Overfishing, coastal pollution and degradation of water quality were common in all 64 large marine ecosystems studied by scientists who contributed to the U.N. Environmental Program report presented at an international conference on oceans, coasts and islands in
"These marine ecosystems are under great stress and that stress is increasing because of climate change, by global warming," co-author Ken Sherman of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in an interview.
"We really need to have policy makers and donors recognize that we need to fund efforts to reduce the stress,"
The report said that in 18 of the 64 regions, "the accelerated warming trends are 2-4 times greater than the average trends reported in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change".
The week-long 4th global conference on oceans, coasts and islands in
"But governance of the 64 percent of the ocean that lies beyond national jurisdiction remains largely sectoral based and fragmented, making it difficult to address the effects of uses."
RISK TO SUSTAINED TRADE
Scientists said the 800-page report focuses on the risk to the sustainability of the $12.6 trillion value of goods and services produced each year in the so-called large marine ecosystems.
The most rapid warming was recorded in the
Other areas under threat included the
South Korean scientist Hyung Tack Huh said China, South Korea and North Korea were working together to work out and amend plans for managing the Yellow Sea coasts and environment.
The report recommended that 29 ocean areas adjacent to developing countries should also cap the yield of annual fishery catches as a precaution.
To help poorer nations better manage marine ecosystems, the Washington-based Global Environment Facility is funding projects worth $1.8 billion in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and
Monique Barbut, chief executive officer of the GEF, said in an interview that oceans had been taken for granted in the global warming debate, including the Kyoto Protocol talks in
"The message that has to be brought into the
"Risks are increasing in terms of food security, immigration and diseases because of the non-protection of international waters."
About 190 nations agreed in