Flipper and friends this week asked President-elect Obama for "Change" and urged him to protect the oceans in a new advertising campaign by Oceana. The ads, located in the Farragut West station of the Washington, D.C. Metro system, feature a breathtaking underwater view of ocean wildlife with all eyes on the White House.
"Now is the time for change in our oceans," said Beth Lowell, federal policy director at Oceana. "We look to the new administration to establish increased protections for marine life."
In December, Oceana and a group of top U.S. marine scientists called upon the incoming Obama administration to act decisively to prevent the permanent collapse of the oceans.
Oceana offers the following recommendations for restoring widespread health and productivity in the ocean:
- Require responsible fishing, including an end to overfishing, a commitment to rebuilding depleted fish populations and an end to bycatch of species such as sea turtles, sharks and marine mammals. The U.S. also needs to protect ocean habitats from destructive fishing gear such as bottom trawls.
- Decrease the amount of pollution that ends up in our oceans from a wide range of sources, including mercury emissions, plastics and wastewater.
- Reinstate the moratoria on offshore drilling in U.S. waters on the Outer Continental Shelf, including sensitive ecosystems such as Bristol Bay, Alaska.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately, with a target of a 25 to 40 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020 and an 80 to 95 percent reduction by the year 2050. We can achieve these ambitious goals with energy conservation and a speedy transition to a clean energy future.