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Keeping the Green Economy Blue
April 29, 2011

On April 29, Dr. Ellen Pikitch, the Institute’s executive director, presented on the current state of the oceans and marine environment at the workshop “Keeping the Green Economy Blue” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The workshop was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Australia and the Pew Environment Group. Dr. Pikitch said oceans are clearly in crisis and no area is unaffected: coral reefs are threatened; marine life is disappearing; fisheries are, on the whole, depleted; and habitats are being destroyed. She identified the major causes for this, including overexploitation due to excessive fishing, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and ocean acidification, and emphasized that the combined effects of these impacts make a big difference. Pointing to what can be done, Pikitch noted that marine protected areas (MPAs) can be highly successful, and recommended: reducing fishing rates, eliminating destructive practices, implementing an ecosystem-based approach, and meeting existing internationally-agreed obligations. She concluded by saying that it is not too late, but we need to act fast and strategically.

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