Far from shore, the high seas are home to a vast array of species that help support life on Earth. We need a global mechanism to protect marine life in these international waters, that make up two-thirds of the world’s oceans.
Currently, a patchwork of rules and regulations do little to safeguard the high seas, but hopefully that will soon change. From September 4-17, 2018 the United Nations is hosting the first of four meetings to negotiate a treaty by 2020 to protect these waters. A global, coordinated oversight will help protect these waters and in turn help the health of our oceans.
Breathe in, now breathe out.
It is often said that every second breath we take comes from the ocean.
Most of which lies far beyond the closest shoreline, far beyond the borders of any nation.
The high seas make up the entire ocean outside of national jurisdiction.
They cover nearly half the planet and are a vast expanse of ocean wilderness that’s far from barren.
They are home to species that captivate our imagination and species we are only now just beginning to understand.
They’re sources of scientific discoveries that can improve lives and unique ecosystems where biodiversity thrives.
We may never see them ourselves, but we all depend on the high seas. And they’re in trouble.
Climate change, overfishing and other threats are wreaking havoc on these waters, but the high seas remain virtually unprotected.
Only 1 percent of them have been protected, but some scientists say we need to safeguard 30% of our ocean with marine reserves to build resilience against these threats.
No single government has authority on the high seas, so oversight is left to a patchwork of organizations that manage different activities and have different priorities.
It’s chaotic and consequential for a resource we can’t afford to lose.
But the global community has a chance to change course on the high seas.
For the first time ever, the United Nations is working on a treaty that would put this global resource under global protection.
We have one chance to get this right.
Let’s protect the high seas before its too late.