Cost of protecting the oceans

4:10pm, June 20, 2004

Operating an extensive global network of marine parks in which fishing and habitat-stressing activities are restricted would probably be more affordable for governments than continuing to subsidize struggling fisheries at current levels, a team of scientists calculates. Creating such a network would produce about 1 million jobs, the researchers assert. Furthermore, protecting areas in which fish populations recover could increase nearby fisheries' long-term viability.

The several hundred existing marine parks cover less than 0.3 percent of the world's oceans. Last year, the World Parks Congress, a periodic gathering of government delegates, recommended protecting 20 to 30 percent of marine areas to combat declining fish stocks and destruction of habitats.

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