In the midst of modern ills affecting the world’s oceans – for example overfishing and pollution – oceanographer Jeremy Jackson likes to recall ocean success stories.
Jeremy Jackson: The importance of these success stories is that they provide kind of a model, an inspiration for people.
Jackson – who is with Scripps Institute of Oceanography – spoke about endangered fisheries off the northeastern U.S. that recovered after fishing was limited. He mentioned the Northern Line Islands, an isolated strand of island reefs in the central Pacific Ocean.
Jeremy Jackson: You dive on those and you feel you really are in utter wilderness. As soon as you go down you see lots of sharks. You see lots of fish. And you see lush growth of corals that is three-dimensional, like an underwater forest.
Jackson said the Northern Line Islands prove healthy corals can and do exist. He’s also encouraged by the creation of three large protected marine monuments in the Pacific in early 2009. Jackson said scientists know how to save ocean reefs and fisheries. But doing it is a matter of political will.
Jeremy Jackson: If we get our act together, and if we’re forceful, and if we just really push for protection we can achieve an enormous amount.
Our thanks to:
William and Mary B. Ritter Professor of Oceanography
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
University of California
San Diego, CA