Preserving For Posterity Essay

1176 words - 5 pages

The ocean covers roughly two thirds of the Earth’s surface area, and as such is the most valuable resource that we have. Every year through mal-treatment and abuse we irreparably damage our ocean and the ecology found within it. Instead of focusing on what we can gain through strip mining the ocean of its treasures, work needs to be done to establish a safeguard for its preservation. Late President and naturalist Theodore Roosevelt stated “To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the [ocean] instead of using it so as to increase it’s usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very property which we ought by to hand down to them amplified ...view middle of the document...

The time required for many species to germinate to full adulthood is significantly longer that most fisheries give. Pew commission chairman and director of the California State University of Public Policy expounds, “Ninety percent of the large fish in the ocean are gone”. (Clemmitt, 1) With constant advances in technology, fish no longer stand a chance to the commercial fisherman. Through use of a wide range of technology, fishermen are better equipped to track, find, and monitor fish populations and movements. While closely regulated by the United States Coast Guard, the decline in our fish populations is increasing. One article reports, “Aside from diminishing the supply of fish, over fishing has led to deterioration in the quality of fish caught. As more-prized fish become commercially extinct, trash fish are taking their place.” (National, 4) With the abundance of over fishing taking place we’re on the right track to eating our resources to extinction.
As we see the consequences attributed to over fishing it must also be noted that coral reefs stand to suffer much more than our fish populations. Coral reefs are built on the bones of previous coral and have taken millions of years to grow and flourish. The live coral that we see and associate with the richness in color and splendor are called polyps, and when they die, their husk is incorporated into the reef, in that each subsequent death lays a foundation for the next generation to build upon. Coral tend to only be found in tropical waters and are often support a whole ecosystem, supporting more that a million different species at once. Coral is also one of the most fragile life forms in the ocean, and are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Many studies have been performed to estimate that damage that has been done in the last 20 years as man has slowly gained dominance over the ocean. One such report coldly states, “…that over the past two decades, close to one quarter of the coral reef systems in the world have died, meaning that the polyps have been destroyed and the reefs are left lifeless, to be eventually eroded by the sea”.(National, 12)
With such a steady decline in coral, what will be left for our children to view, or for our children’s children? Coral while being an important scientific study is also a boon for most tropical locations. Many such areas have numerous dive shops and operations where tourists can go to view the beauty of the coral reef, not only helping the local economies but informing...

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