When Life on Earth Rests on the Ocean

The earliest life forms on earth first appeared in the ocean, while the first terrestrial life migrated from the ocean. Up until now, the ocean keeps on being the most important instrument on preserving life on earth.

The third Friday of May is celebrated as National Endangered Species Day across the globe to raise awareness about endangered species and wildlife. As it gives us the opportunity to increase our knowledge about wildlife and endangered species and take key steps to save them. Since the first industrial revolution, earth has lost a great deal of species due to human activities and technological advances. Alas, the industrial development isn’t in accordance with sustainable consumption and production. The modern marine ecosystem now has to pay the price.

More information:https://greeneration.org/

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

The Convention on the Law of the Sea sets the rights and obligations of State Parties in relation to the law of the sea and ocean affairs, thereby providing a global ocean governance framework that is almost universally accepted. The Convention is a living example of how national interests are balanced with global interests regarding the exploration and conservation of the ocean (Long, 2007). National interests included the claims for the extension of the maritime spaces. Global interests were mainly the expanding threat of unregulated natural resources exploration . Consequently, the United Nations General Assembly convened the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea—UNCLOS III in 1973 to discuss ocean matters in plenitude . It was only after 9 years of long and intense negotiations at the UN that the Convention was finally adopted in 1982 and entered into force in 1994. Today, it is the globally recognized regime dealing with all matters relating to the law of the sea, being ratified by 167 States Parties and the EU (United Nations.

New Possibilities for Life in the Strange, Dark World at the Bottom of Earth’s Ocean – And Perhaps in Oceans on Other Planets

In the strange, dark world of the ocean floor, underwater fissures, called hydrothermal vents, host complex communities of life. These vents belch scorching hot fluids into extremely cold seawater, creating the chemical forces necessary for the small organisms that inhabit this extreme environment to live.

In a newly published study, biogeoscientists Jeffrey Dick and Everett Shock have determined that specific hydrothermal seafloor environments provide a unique habitat where certain organisms can thrive. In so doing, they have opened up new possibilities for life in the dark at the bottom of oceans on Earth, as well as throughout the solar system. Their results have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.

On land, when organisms get energy out of the food they eat, they do so through a process called cellular respiration, where there is an intake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide. Biologically speaking, the molecules in our food are unstable in the presence of oxygen, and it is that instability that is harnessed by our cells to grow and reproduce, a process called biosynthesis.


Read More: https://scitechdaily.com/new-possibilities-for-life-in-the-strange-dark-world-at-the-bottom-of-earths-ocean-and-perhaps-in-oceans-on-other-planets/amp/

Ocean governance: On the difficulty of governing the sea

Marine protection is a matter that concerns everyone. But the question remains, how can use of the sea be regulated and governed to ensure that it is in fact sustain­able? In this context researchers often speak of “governance”. Much like the term “sustainability”, no standard definition of the expression “ocean governance” currently exists. The Club of Rome, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) and expert panel founded in 1968, which deals with the negative consequences of economic growth, attempted to come up with a universal ­definition of the term. Accordingly, “ocean governance” was framed as the “the means by which ocean affairs are governed by governments, local communities, industries, non-governmental organizations, other stakeholders, through national and international laws, policies, customs, traditions, culture, and related institutions and processes.”


More Information: https://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-4/politics-and-the-oceans/on-the-difficulty-of-governing-the-sea/

The ocean is one of Earth's most valuable natural resources.

It provides food in the form of fish and shellfish—about 200 billion pounds are caught each year. It’s used for transportation—both travel and shipping. It provides a treasured source of recreation for humans. It is mined for minerals (salt, sand, gravel, and some manganese, copper, nickel, iron, and cobalt can be found in the deep sea) and drilled for crude oil.

Human activities (Fishing Facts)

The oceans have been fished for thousands of years and are an integral part of human society. Fish have been important to the world economy for all of these years, starting with the Viking trade of cod and then continuing with fisheries like those found in Lofoten, Europe, Italy, Portugal, Spain and India. Fisheries of today provide about 16% of the total world’s protein with higher percentages occurring in developing nations. Fisheries are still enormously important to the economy and well-being of communities.

More information:https://www.marinebio.org/

Difficulty of governing the sea



Lack of common purpose


The sea and its ecosystem services are a common re­source. Unlike privately owned properties on land, for example, they do not belong to individuals but are available to the whole community.


Many of the resources in the sea are finite, fish stocks being one example. If individual nations or companies help themselves to the sea’s resources as they see fit, sooner or later these resources will be exhausted. Today many fish populations are already classified as overfished due to excessive catches over the years. Economists use the term “commons” to talk about publicly available resources (like the fish in the sea) which are freely usable but limited in supply. Originally the concept referred to land areas such as fields or pastures used collectively by the citizens of a community.


The problem with the use of commons has always been that those interested in using this kind of resource find themselves competing with each other. If one com­pany or country makes use of a common resource, less of it is available for the other stakeholders. From a purely economic viewpoint, it is worthwhile for a company or country to exploit these resources to the fullest possible extent in order to secure the maximum possible share and generate profits accordingly.


In past decades this approach has led to ever more serious harm to the marine environment. Unrestrained ­fishery is one of the uses of the commons that will tend to cause such harm. Likewise, the discharge of pollutants from industry or from municipalities into the sea is an-other example of a use of marine commons that is ulti-mately selfish. Individual companies, municipalities or countries save themselves large expenditures for the disposal of pollutants by making use of coastal waters as a free ­drainage tank for effluents. For the protection of commons to make sense, on the other hand, many users or states need to cooperate.