Environment Confronting International Environmental Issues: Term Paper


Confronting International Environmental Issues: Over Fishing

Over fishing of international waters by commercial fisheries places a severe, if often unnoticed, burden on the ecological foundations of the world's oceans. The oceans, which cover roughly 70% of the Earth's service perform vital ecological functions -- not to mention providing 15% of the world's protein supply in the form of seafood. However, to supply that food requires the harvesting of more than 900 million tons of seafood every year, much of which is simply wasted ("Ravaging"). The result of this unchecked harvest has been dwindling supplies of marine fish populations, such as the North Atlantic cod, as well as economic and ecological effects.

Some organizations have taken a particular interest in addressing this international environmental issue. AIDA collaborates with governments and partner organizations to improve the regulatory mechanisms in place for appropriate marine resources management. By assisting and motivate governments to reform and improve marine policies, AIDA hopes to help protect these resources before they are irrevocably damaged ("Ravaging"). For example, AIDA worked with two other organizations -- JPN and CEDARENA -- in Costa Rica to legally oppose the development of a yellow fin tuna aquaculture project. The Costa Rican courts ruled in favor of AIDA's actions on the grounds that the aquaculture project would drastically harm the marine environment and undermine the nation's constitutional guarantees of a healthy environment ("Toward).

Some of the root problems that confront over fishing and environmental damage to marine ecosystems include lack of regulatory mechanisms and lack of general knowledge about the environmental impacts of commercial fisheries. AIDA has demonstrated some success in not only educating the general public about potential dangers, but also in encouraging -- sometimes through legal action -- local governments to improve and strengthen the regulatory framework that is in place to protect international marine resources from ecological and economic damage.

Works Cited

Ravaging the Oceans -- the Impacts of Commercial Marine Fisheries." AIDA. 2007. 28 Feb. 2008 http://www.aida-americas.org/aida.php?page=fisheries_home.

Toward Sustainable Aquaculture." AIDA. 2007. 28 Feb. 2008 http://www.aida-americas.org/aida.php?page=aquaculture_home.

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