Mr. David Cameron
10 Downing Street,
Dear Mr. David Cameron,
My name is H.K. and I am writing to inform you about my concerns for our ocean; which is currently facing incredible pressure. Having recently learnt about the strain on our ocean, I honestly feel that without drastic action we will destroy our planet’s greatest resource.
There are a variety of different reasons for our ocean’s sorry predicament. They include: overfishing, poor fishing practices, marine pollution, shark finning and general corruption and exploitation. Statistics gathered from all around the world clearly indicate that our precious marine life is being pushed to the brink, due to overfishing and other unsustainable fishing practices. Only 0.6% of the whole world’s oceans are designated as protected, which is an incredibly small relative amount. Unfortunately, our stunning marine life has been mercilessly exploited and slaughtered in ever increasing numbers over the past 150 years and we are left with an inadequate amount to now sustain our fishing industry and the people who rely on it. Did you know that 90% of all large fish have been fished out? Surprisingly, 1% of the world’s industrial fishing fleets account for 50% of the world’s catch, is this the appropriate way to behave with the source of protein for 1.2 billion people? Clearly, something needs to change.
What is immediately evident is that one of the biggest reasons for this pressure is the terrible practices in our fishing industry. Numerous, brutal techniques are repeatedly being used to destroy marine life and various, captivating endangered species are near extinction. Long lining is another horrific process, where an almost infinite line is abundantly attached with hooks; furthermore, guiltless species die, which are not even targeted. Unfortunately, fishermen seem totally disinterested in what species are caught; they callously discard unwanted dead fish - that is why this is such a heartless technique. Trawling is another ruthless process, where a vast net is tossed into the ocean, which cruelly traps countless species and decimates ocean life. Not only does this technique viciously capture fish, it also demolishes the ocean bed. Carelessly, this technique kills thousands of species and is totally unsustainable. Alongside these terrible practices is the scale of the industry: global fishing capacity could catch our annual world catch 4 times over! Astonishingly, the world’s long lining industry uses 1.4 billion hooks per year, which could circle our world 550 times! These are terribly destructive fishing practices. I am extremely devastated by these savage and gruesome processes and I strongly believe that it is imperative to act to this.
Recently, countless species have been intensively overfished and we are facing a wide-scale marine eco- system collapse. Newfoundland cod stocks declined quickly post WW2 and by 1975 the catch rate had fallen by more than 60%. Astoundingly, in 1968 the cod catch peaked at 800,000 tonnes, but decreased starkly from this point. Depressingly, cod stocks have still not recovered, leaving them as critically endangered. In Chesapeake Bay, cow nose rays have abruptly exploded in numbers, as their predators have harshly been overfished. This is exacerbated by awful pollution problems; this affects the whole food chain massively. Blue Fin Tuna stocks have been reduced by 97%, as this species is continuously targeted, despite commercial extinction. Shockingly, almost every country in the Mediterranean is intensely hunting the Blue Fin; even though, the Blue Fin contains high levels of Mercury in its blood, it is still critically endangered. I am extremely concerned about the lack of protection and care towards these species. Why are we cruelly demolishing such fascinating species?
Unfortunately, shark numbers have also diminished rapidly, leaving many shark species on the brink of extinction. Sharks are also one of many species, which are critically endangered, as they are intensively hunted, mainly for their fins; furthermore, 99% of the shark is wasted, as it is needed for its fin or jaw. This causes a massive reduction in shark populations. This immensely affects many fish species, as sharks are the controllers of our oceans. Eventually, due to overfishing, stocks will collapse and food chains will be destroyed if the disappearance of sharks occurs. Everyone thoroughly needs to understand that sharks are not ruthless creatures, but very important creatures; actually, only six people are killed worldwide by sharks. Crocodiles have killed more people in the last year than sharks in the last century. Immediately, we should react to this idiocy and put an end to this brutal behavior. We should create marine reserves and methodically protect the shapers of our precious ocean. It is fairly certain that must protect our sharks, in order to save our ocean. They are the most important species in our ocean –yet the most hunted and reviled. Surely, we are sufficiently advanced to see this is a terrible error.
Without a doubt, these situations can definitely not be ignored, as our marine life is being ferociously obliterated. I’m convinced that, it is imperative to act now, because if we do not our ocean will become completely barren. Will the next generation be able to enjoy fish or will there be none left? I know you have the power to implement change. Please make this a priority.
H.K., Age 11.
Ladybarn Primary School