A Happy 2013 for the Ocean?
Another year rolls by.
The ocean, about 70 percent of the Earth, continues to serve humanity by supplying food, oxygen, life, transportation, adventure, beauty, and spiritual balm.
Yet it does all of this under great duress.
In 2012, at the once-in-a-decade Rio+20 U.N. Earth Summit, governments recognized that the ocean was at a tipping point.
They agreed that urgent action is needed to halt the relentless destruction of ocean life resulting from the overexploitation of marine species, removal of too many fish from the sea, acidification, pollution, and illegal fishing.
The statistics on the worsening state of the ocean are frightening yet action to date has been slow.
In June 2012, governments made commitments on paper after lengthy negotiations to end overfishing, stop illegal fishing, phase out harmful subsidies, eliminate destructive fishing practices, and protect vulnerable marine ecosystems.
But delegates deferred a critical decision on how to advance the establishment of marine reserves on the high seas.
It's time to keep our promises. The future of humanity depends on healthy and productive seas.
Let's make 2013 a year in which the tide really turns for the ocean.