Coastal Caretaking

Zoning Tropical Waters Like Land Resources




In the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, 24 scientists from Canada, the U.S., the UK, China, Australia, New Caledonia, Sweden and Kenya affirm that one-fifth of humanity lives within 60 miles of a tropical coastline, primarily in developing countries. They warn that growing populations and the increasing impact of climate change ensure that pressures on these coastal waters will only grow.

Most locations are lacking in holistic, regional management approaches to balance the growing demands from fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, oil, gas and mineral extraction, energy production, residential development, tourism and conservation.

Lead author Peter Sale, of the United Nations University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, states, “We zone land for development, farms, parks, industry and other human needs. We need a comparable degree of care and planning for coastal ocean waters. We subject [the sea], particularly along tropical shores, to levels of human activity as intense as those on land. The result is widespread overfishing, pollution and habitat degradation.”

According to the paper, solutions must address a larger geographic scale over a longer period of time; focus on multiple issues (conservation, fisheries enhancement and land-based pollution); and originate from a local jurisdiction to gain traction with each community.


View the paper at Tinyurl.com/OceanZoning.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Renewable Payoff

For a few hours last May, Germany’s renewable mix of energy generated so much power that customers were actually paid for using electricity.

Sealife Sanctuary

Greenpeace is working with the European Union and Germany to set aside an Antarctic sanctuary of almost three-quarters of a million square miles to protect whales, penguins and other wildlife.

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.

Urban Trees

Tree cover works to reduce depression, improve productivity and lessen disease, yet four million city trees a year are being lost due to their low priority in municipal budgets.

Tree Tally

By digitalizing photographs and other museum records, scientists are closing in on the number of tree species left to be discovered in the Amazon rainforest.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags