Southern Ocean Sanctuary Essay

2353 words - 10 pages

In an ever-expanding world where resource scarcity is discussed in side conversations and overpopulation is being combatted by concerned nations, worldwide struggle of equal allocation of vital resources persist. Biological resources and biodiversity in general are at the forefront of these concerns. Decreasing biodiversity does not just pose a problem for the plants and animals that are becoming increasingly endangered; individuals who have constructed their livelihood around the availability of such resources face dire circumstances as scarcity arises. The greater the variety of abundant plant and animal species present in the world, the greater the potential opportunity, opportunities such as medical discoveries and newfound scientific knowledge that increase the sustainability of life on Earth. However, tragedy of the commons, has led to overuse of biological resources across the globe, throwing the issue of sustainability into question. While species extinction is a natural process in the world ecosystem, the rate at which it has increased is not. In the past 65 million years the rate of extinction has gone from one to five species per year to roughly 1,000 to 10,000 times that rate (Diversity, 2013, pg. 1). This is no longer a matter of natural selection; this is a matter of ineffective resource regulation worldwide. Despite extensive amounts of environmental legislation actively in place, specie scarcity will continue to grow. The greatest challenge now stands with NGO’s and their ability to regulate the use of biological resources while enforcing the legislation being administered. Without cohesion amongst environmental NGO’s and aligned nations, the absence of regulation enforcement will lead to specie scarcity, resulting in the rapid depletion of the Earth’s most precious resources.
Some of the greatest natural made wonders this world has to offer can be found in the depths of the oceans and along the vast expanses of coastline. Making up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, the oceans provide a great deal of resources and undiscovered fronts that have yet to be ventured. Some of the greatest mysteries yet to be explained lie in the depths of the oceans. Known as the birthplace for the development of life on Earth, the oceans are the backbone of sustainable life. Consisting of over 95% of hospitable habitats on Earth, the oceans play host to estimates of up to 2.2 million species (Latham 2013, pg. 1). Despite the extensive biological diversities of the ocean, recent environmental issues such as overfishing and pollution have taken a tremendous toll on these environments. Species are becoming extinct daily and the habitats in which they reside are decreasing at tremendous rates. In 2010, 1,851 species of fish were at risk of becoming extinct, that figure consisting of more than 21% of the fish evaluated in the study (Diversity 2013, pg. 2). In addition, ocean pollution has been documented to affect 267 species...

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