What is Ocean Governance?

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Source Pew Foundation/ Jim Toomy

Ocean conservation is essential but sometimes difficult to understand. Pew joined forces with cartoonist Jim Toomey, the artist behind “Sherman’s Lagoon,” on 10 animated videos that explain the complicated concepts that guide efforts to protect our oceans.

Visual Glossary of Ocean Terminology – Cartoon crash course

#4  What is Ocean Governance?

“Ocean governance” sounds boring, but it’s actually incredibly important for anyone who enjoys seafood, marine life, and all of the riches of a healthy ocean. Two-thirds of the world’s oceans are beyond any one country’s territory. These waters are called the high seas, and because they belong to no single nation, they belong to the whole world. That means countries must come together to take care of them—and address issues such as illegal fishing, overfishing, and drilling.

Cartoonist Jim Toomey—whose daily comic strip, Sherman’s Lagoon, is syndicated in more than 250 newspapers in the United States—joined forces with The Pew Charitable Trusts to illustrate “ocean governance” and other terms we associate with our oceans.

*TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO*

Ocean governance. Sounds like somebody taking the the mysterious, beautiful ocean and making it really…boring. But ocean governance matters: It refers to how we humans set policies to take care of the waters that gave birth to things like coral reefs, whales, tunas… and tuna casserole, for that matter…. And ultimately to our species….And ultimately to our species… keep going… a little further…you’re getting close… nope, that’s too far…back a little.

Every coastal country in the world controls – and governs – the waters that extend about 200 miles from its shores. These areas are managed basically like public land, with rules on when, where and how people can fish, mine, drill for oil or nude sunbathe… Is that really regulated? No?

Beyond those boundaries are the high seas, which are controlled by both everybody and nobody – leading to understandable confusion among those that live there.

The high seas account for about two-thirds of the world’s oceans, so how we govern them is really important. Laws and policies are set by international treaties and bodies called regional fishery management organizations. But there are no dedicated police forces out there, so its kind of like the wild, wild west.

If no one is watching, people could use the high seas for whatever they want—like illegal fishing, drilling, dumping trash or nude sunbathing.

And the next thing you know, this could become….this

Pewtrusts.org/oceangov

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February 3, 2017 |

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