My wish: Protect our oceans | Sylvia Earle
TED Talks Daily
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What are some changes in the sea that have affected us? 01:11

There are several changes we are seeing. One big change is within 50 years, we've taken and eaten more than 90% of the big fish in the sea, nearly half of the coral reefs have disappeared, and there has been a mysterious depletion of oxygen in large areas of the Pacific.


Why is the ocean so important to us? 04:58

With every drop we drink, every breath we take, we are connected to the sea no matter where we live. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by the sea. Over time, most of the planets’ organic carbon has been absorbed and stored there. The ocean drives weather, stabilizes temperature, shapes earth’s chemistry, and much more.


How does excess carbon dioxide affect the ocean? 09:17

It not only drives global warming, but it’s changing ocean chemistry, making the sea more acidic. It’s bad news for coral reefs, planktons, and us.


What should we be doing when we eat something from the sea? 10:55

We should be thinking of the real cost. For every pound that goes to the market, more than 10 pounds — even 100 pounds— may be thrown away as bycatch. This is the consequence of not knowing that there are limits of what we can take out of the sea.


What’s the good news and bad news about the oceans? 12:51

There are more than 4,000 places in the seas around the world that have protection. The bad news is, you have to look hard to find these places on Google Earth. Protected areas do rebound, but they take time to restore.


How can we cope with climate change? 15:20

We need new ways to generate power. We need new and better ways to cope with poverty, wars, and diseases. We need many things in order to keep and maintain the world as a better place, but nothing else will matter if we fail to protect the ocean. Our fate and the ocean are one.


What is one wish about the ocean to fulfill in the future? 16:34

Sylvia’s wish is that we would use all means at our disposal to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas— hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean.