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Health of World's Ocean 'Collapsing Before Our Eyes'


Health of World's Ocean 'Collapsing Before Our Eyes'

Thalif Deen, IPS News

UNITED NATIONS - The untapped riches in the world’s oceans are estimated at nearly 24 trillion dollars – the size of the world’s leading economies, according to a new report released Thursday by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Describing the oceans as economic powerhouses, the study warns that the resources in the high seas are rapidly eroding through over-exploitation, misuse and climate change.


Who will sign this treaty to respect Mother Earth? Country Boundaries just don’t apply anymore. Corporations are the major players here and the ones that need to be reined in. (Japan is another matter). This is “much sound and fury, signifying nothing”. They want to be seen as doing something, but by the time the talk and lawyers are done, so are the oceans.


In the film, War of the Roses, Danny DeVito tells an old joke.

What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A good start.

Perhaps we can start working on the oceans’ pollution with just a little more. However, a good start would be a great deal more than 500.



The ocean is worth over a trillion dollars? I’ve spent a lot of time at the beach and I have never looked out at and thought: Gee, how much is this ocean worth in dollar signs? Most people look out at the oceans in a personal reflective way, not as source of “what profit is in it for me.” When we attach money value to the natural world, it only increases chances of its exploitation.


I also had this response to this article. I am disappointed that the WWF sees the value of oceans in economic terms. The value of the oceans cannot be described in potential profits, because if you follow this reasoning then the best use of the oceans is to convert them into massive fish farms. The value of the oceans is the stunning wonder of life that they contain and not in how much money can be made harvesting that life. Shame on the WWF.


I hate that I love seafood…


If everyday stories of the ocean’s failing health don’t inspire our leaders, perhaps a hard economic analysis will."

The author hopes that by using economic terminology he might get greedy corporatists to notice that the oceans are worth saving.


The oceans, and for that matter, humanity are doomed so long as we keep putting monetary values on them. Monetary value is a suicidal and delusional social construct. With the collapse of civilization, money vanishes. This is the kind of thinking that gets us nowhere but the fossil record.

We are the walking dead
tomorrow’s forgotten
Fossils not yet calcified
the earth warming
beneath our feet
as we hunt for bargains
and argue politics

Denial and recalcitrance purchased
at the ultimate price
extinction nearing daily
incessant as the rise
of dying acidic seas
our legacy written
in refuse –

Arrogance Avarice Myopia


Therein lies the rub. We need elected leaders who look at the ocean and ponder the meaning and intrinsic value of life and decide to protect it, not ones who will protect oceans purely for their profitability. Of all things in this world with no real value, money is pretty high on the list.


The oceans are “worth” less than the banksters. Go figure…


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167 nations have ratified the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Guess one which hasn’t (hint: its initials begin with a ‘U’, end with an ‘A’ and have an ‘S’ in the middle).

194 nations have ratified the 1992 UN Convention on Biodiversity. Guess one which hasn’t (hint: its initials begin with a ‘U’, end with an ‘A’ and have an ‘S’ in the middle).

So, I’m sure the above-hinted at country has welcomed the new proposal for a binding treaty addressing marine biodiversity which the UN hopes to have by 2017 (</sarcasm>).

By the way, here is an interesting document showing all the treaties which the Senate has not ratified.


It’s comforting to know that so many CD readers and commentors understand that wealth isn’t money. Thanks



  • Thank you!


That’s a bit of an eye-opener, isn’t it.


Law of the sea and refusal of the ICC. Above the law corporations. End the corportariat. It’s ending us.


We are like the “Raifs” from one of the star trek series… remember?


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1800 sea lion pups stranded themselves ashore in CA this year, starving. Unable to wait for their moms, who now have to swim for 2-6 days to eat enough to breastfeed, they left their breeding grounds though unable to fish yet.

The sardine season is closed for 2015 for CA, OR & WA. Sardines are absent.

3rd photo should maybe read “longest industrialized economies”