Scuba Diver Australasia - - Contents -

For cen­turies, our wa­ters have been seen as a lim­it­less bounty of food. Day and night, fish­ers go out to sea hop­ing for a good catch, but as divers, we value the ocean as some­thing much more than a means of sus­te­nance: Our sanc­tu­ary is of­ten found be­neath the sur­face, where ma­rine life thrives. But in the last cen­tury, the de­mand for seafood has sky­rock­eted, and fish­ers have re­sorted to un­sus­tain­able prac­tices. To­day, over 60 per­cent of the world’s fish stocks are fully fished, and 40 per­cent of recorded ma­rine species have de­creased in the last 40 years. In re­sponse, con­ser­va­tion­ists, sci­en­tists, and govern­ments have been in con­tin­u­ous di­a­logue with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to pro­tect the world’s most pre­cious un­der­wa­ter ecosys­tems. While pro­tected ar­eas have been pop­ping up more rapidly in re­cent years, 90 per­cent of ma­rine pro­tected ar­eas are still open to fish­ing, and suf­fi­cient en­force­ment is still lack­ing. This World Oceans Day, let’s rally to­gether to spread the beauty of the blue, for a sanc­tu­ary ex­ists only as long as its dwellers do.

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