When it comes to the ocean, the media tends to focus — overwhelmingly — on the bad news, moving from one catastrophe to the next.
We here at Project Seahorse are sometimes guilty of this, too, and there’s a pretty good reason for it. Our oceans really do face incredible pressures from human activities such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices (trawling for example), pollution, and seafilling, as well as from climate change.
But, as Project Seahorse’s Dr. Heather Koldewey points out in “Finding solutions in marine conservation — a reason for ocean optimism,” her recent Bevan Series lecture, we need to focus on the positive, too, because good news inspires action in a way that doom-and-gloom media coverage often doesn’t.
Did you know, for example, that the UK government this year committed to establishing one of the world's largest marine reserves, the Pitcairn Marine Protected Area? Or that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) recently announced new protections for five shark species and manta rays? Or that damaged corals and mangroves in many parts of the world show an incredibly ability to recover when human pressures are removed?
That’s reason for #OceanOptimism.
If we’re going to save our oceans, says Heather, we need to look at what marine conservation is doing right and figure out how we can build on these successes.
Watch the talk and slideshow here.