The commercial fishing industry had opposed the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, saying that prohibiting commercial fishing in the two areas would cripple the industry. But according to Brad Sewell, oceans attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, two years after designating those protected areas, the numbers tell a different story.
Last year saw an alarming dieoff of North Atlantic right whales, something researchers refer as an “unusual mortality event.” Their carcasses littered the shores of the east coast—12 in Canada and 5 in the United States. Necropsies revealed that most of the animals died from blunt force trauma or entanglement issues. This brings the North Atlantic right whale’s fragile population to an estimated fewer than 500.
Thousands upon thousands of volunteers combed coastal regions and waterways on International Coastal Cleanup Day for trash and waste removal. These photos by Charmaine Coimbra were taken at Estero Bluffs State Park, with volunteers from the Cayucos Land Conservancy in cooperation with the local coordinating agency, ECOSLO.
cientists say that the equivalent of a dump truck load of plastic is deposited in the world’s oceans every minute, and this quantity will only increase as consumption and population grow, too. By 2050, it’s said there will be more plastic than fish in the seas. The UN writes, “As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy – litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife.”
A slogan of the last century was ‘think globally, act locally.’ But if we’re to deal with the collapse of living systems today we have to think and act locally, regionally and globally simultaneously. That would probably not be possible without the communications tools we now have on our laptops and other devices.