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Scientists call for new stewardship of the deep ocean: Earth's last frontier
Date:2/16/2014

P> "We need international cooperation and an entity that can develop and oversee deep-ocean stewardship," said Levin. "We also need multiple sources of research funding that can help provide the scientific information that we need to manage the deep sea. All of this will require efforts that bridge several disciplines and engage stakeholders in these discussions."

"It is imperative to work with industry and governance bodies to put progressive environmental regulations in place before industry becomes established, instead of after the fact," said Cindy Lee Van Dover, director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory. "One hundred years from now, we want people to say 'they got this right based on the science they had, they weren't asleep at the wheel.'"

"From a legal perspective, the deep ocean is filled with contradictions. Deep sea mineral resources located beyond national boundaries are part of the 'Common Heritage of Mankind' under international law, but the fish and octopi that swim just above the seafloor are not," said Kristina Gjerde, senior high seas advisor to IUCNthe International Union for Conservation of Nature. "To prevent harm we can never hope to repair, precautionary rules need to be in place to guide all human uses of the deep ocean across boundaries and across sectors."

Other AAAS participants include Samantha Smith (Nautilus Minerals) and Bronwen Currie (National Marine Information and Research Center). The scientific symposium is sponsored by the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative and the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps.


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Contact: Mario Aguilera or Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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