The Beacon

Keep Fishin'

A group of Florida-based treasure hunters are touting the find of a 2,400-year-old jar off Albania's Adriatic coast, a relic likely used at some point to store wine or oil even before the birth of Greek philosopher Plato.

OK, so treasure hunters found a really old jar. Fantastic. And if they play their cards right, the find may help to establish "legal and structural infrastructure" to shield shipwrecks along the European country's 220-mile long coastline from looters. That's great.

Maybe it's just me, but shouldn't authorities be focusing their efforts on protecting our oceans -- not just the shipwrecks -- from looters? I mean, I'm all for safeguarding particles of past, but look at the dire, and current, condition of our oceans.

Bottom trawls dredge up and destroy fragile coral beds that house thousands of sea creatures. Driftnets and longlines mistakenly capture thousands more sharks, sea turtles and dolphins, among others. Global warming is melting icy habitats faster than anyone would have ever imagined, and it's messing with the ocean ecosystem all around.

The shipwrecks aren't going anywhere anytime soon, you know? Can't make that same assertion for the sea.

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