Stricken boat off the coast of Bali underscores the threats from unregulated fishing.
This discovery highlights that efforts to prevent illicit fishing activities from occurring have been unsuccessful, activities that make it all but impossible to manage fish stocks and ensure that fishing boats are sound and secure from oil leaks.
The region, site of many key WWF projects, is widely recognised as the most important area of marine biodiversity on the planet, and is often referred to as the nursery of the seas.
Insufficient monitoring has left it susceptible to activities that could destabilise its unique marine biodiversity, a system that directly sustains the lives of nearly 130 million people across six countries of south-east Asia
“The health of the Coral Triangle is critical to the livelihoods of millions of people and it is crucial that adequate management systems are in place to prevent the kinds of scenes we have seen in Bali over the last week, and to reduce the threat of oil spills and overfishing,” said the leader of WWF’s Coral Triangle Program, Lida Pet Soede.
The sustainable management of these locations is especially important, and particularly difficult, as over-exploitation of marine resources is exacerbated by a combination of extreme dependence of coastal economies, population growth and poverty.
WWF is calling for increased protection of sensitive areas, monitoring of fishing activities, and more accountability for owners of vessels, especially considering this week’s discovery.
This news comes amid the recent announcement that up to half of all remaining coral reefs could disappear within the next twenty years.
“It is crucial that we properly manage the Coral Triangle’s unique marine wilderness for the benefit of the whole planet,“ Ms Soede said.
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