Landmark UN Meeting on Global Oceans in Sept.
Leatherback turtles are living fossils. They date back 100 million years. The species live for decades and weigh up to 2 tons. But they are critically endangered. 97% of them have been wiped out in the Pacific Ocean over the past 30 years. The biggest problem is long, drag fishing lines trailing miles from fishing boats. The lines are loaded with hooks and tens of thousands of leatherbacks get caught up in the lines every year. Many other ocean species and habitats are also unprotected and endangered by plastic pollution, climate change, fishing, tourism and other causes.
Demand for Global Action
A landmark meeting will be held in NYC in September by the United Nations. The purpose is to protect biodiversity in the oceans before the species are wiped out. It will be followed by more meetings. The hope is these sessions will result in a treaty by 2020 to control and protect ocean wildlife and habitats. The September meeting has been a long time in the making.
Future at Stake
According to Greenpeace, these meetings over the next year will determine the future of global oceans. 70% of our planet is ocean and 58% of it is outside of national jurisdictions and totally unprotected. That means 40% of the surface of the Earth has no protection whatsoever for wildlife and habitat. That's why this United Nations initiative is urgent and important.