"Last week Australia joined a new alliance of 40 countries pledging to protect
30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 from pollution, overfishing, climate change
and other environmental threats. Australia already boasts one of the largest
networks of marine protected areas in the world, with about half of
Commonwealth waters around mainland Australia under some form of protection.
Job done? Actually, no.
Despite the size of our protected areas, marine wildlife continues to vanish. A
government report card recently scored the Great Barrier Reef a “D” for its
failing health. Meanwhile, commercial fishing depletes non-target or
non-economic species as collateral damage, and damages marine habitats through
trawling, the marine equivalent of clear felling forests. These issues are
extensive, but poorly understood.
So why the paradox? Our research analysis reveals that size is misleading.
Marine zonings vary in their effectiveness in protecting biodiversity, and
zones established in 2012, 2015 and 2018 put effective protection in the wrong
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics