U.S. commission makes dramatic recommendations for ocean health

SEATTLE, WA In June 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission released recommendations "to avert decline of ocean wildlife and collapse of ocean ecosystems." It calls for immediate reform of U.S. ocean laws and policies to restore ocean wildlife, protect ocean ecosystems, and preserve the ecological, economic and social benefits the oceans provide in essence, a 'Clean Oceans Act.'

In the next few weeks, the U.S. government will issue a draft report giving its recommendations for ocean policy. The new policy will address a broad range of issues, from the stewardship of marine resources and pollution prevention to enhancing and supporting marine science, commerce and transportation.

At the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting, leaders from both the Pew and U.S. Commissions will appear for the first time together to discuss the findings of their respective reports.

"The current situation emphasizes exploitation. It is short-term focused, myopic and has, in fact, resulted in degradation in ocean environment. Sustainable ecosystems will sustain long-term exploitation," said renowned marine scientist, Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University.

The presentation today at the 2004 AAAS (Triple-A-S) Annual Meeting will stress the need for new ocean regulations by Ecosystem-Based Management. Andrew Rosenberg from the University of New Hampshire and a member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy are expected to describe ecosystem-based management as multi-sector, multi-species and across physical boundaries of the land/sea interface.

"This means trying to manage coherently the different parts of the ecosystem so you don't only manage the target species, but look at the cumulative impact. For example, you think hard about how you can fit together the management of fisheries at the same time you're trying to protect turtles," Rosenberg explained.

As Chairman of the Pew Oceans Commission, Leon Panetta will summarize the findings of the commission'

Contact: Monica Amarelo
206- 774-6330
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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