How to stop the spread of invasive species
NEW YORK — A growing number of scientists are calling on the federal government to create an international agreement to prevent invasive species from making it into our oceans.
The issue is especially urgent now that many of the most important marine species — fish, whales, turtles, dolphins, seabirds, sharks, sea turtles, crabs, fish and shellfish — have moved to areas protected by the United Nations’ World Heritage Convention, which has led to some major environmental damage.
Scientists say the World Heritage Committee has long ignored the threats posed by invasive species and they’re pushing for action.
In January, the United States ratified the Convention, setting aside some of the world’s most sensitive and threatened habitats for conservation purposes.
Now, with China, the Philippines and Vietnam taking advantage of an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union, there’s a growing sense that the United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be one of the few places in the world to protect marine ecosystems from invasive species.
The agreement was signed in March 2015 and aims to curb invasive species by 2020.
But it has been met with resistance from countries like China and Vietnam.
The Chinese government recently announced it would ban imports of some marine plants, including blue crabs and sea turtles.
It also banned some seafood imports from Japan and banned imports of many other species.
“We’re in a unique position to have a strong bilateral relationship with China and a bilateral relationship in particular with Vietnam and we’re seeing the need to do something to ensure that we can be effective and effective at this,” said Dr. Michael Loughlin, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Bristol.
“It is imperative that we take action now to protect our environment, to prevent these species from moving into our waters.”
Dr. Loughlynne said China’s action would be a “major blow” to efforts to conserve these animals.
“This is a major blow to the global efforts to reduce marine biodiversity and we will have to take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
China’s actions are the latest indication of its desire to make the world a more biodiverse place.
The country, for example, recently banned fish that it deems too invasive to eat and said it would impose harsher sanctions against countries that fail to meet a global commitment to reduce biodiversity loss.
The Philippines, Vietnam and China all claim the right to set their own limits on the amount of species that can be harvested from their waters.
And they’re working to implement a number of international agreements, including the World Conservation Union’s Convention on Biodiversity.
“The world is changing, but we need to adapt to this new reality, and we have to get our priorities right,” Dr. Louglin said.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed in 1988, established guidelines for the management of marine life in the global oceans, which is an international treaty.
But the United states has been slow to adopt it, as it’s considered a voluntary agreement that’s been largely ignored by governments and scientists.
China, however, has recently stepped up its efforts.
Last month, it announced it was launching a program to develop a new marine biodiversity database to be shared with countries around the world, which would help countries assess and respond to the impacts of marine invasive species on their coastal and marine ecosystems.
The program is called the “International Marine Biodiverse Database and Information System.”
The database, called “Sustainable Marine Biotic Information,” will help countries and companies better understand and manage marine biodiversity in order to make better decisions on the management and conservation of their coastlines.
Dr. Paul Gudmundsson, a marine ecologist at the U.K.-based Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, said China is a significant player in this field.
“China is in the game here, and it’s the most significant player on the ocean,” he told NBC News.
The database is part of a broader effort to protect oceans from ocean invasive species that scientists believe will become increasingly important as the planet warms.
“When it comes to marine life, we are not just talking about blue crabs or sea turtles; we are talking about a lot of marine species that are considered to be critical for marine biodiversity,” Dr Gudmondsson said.
“If we don’t change the management practices, they could become the new gold standard for ocean conservation.”
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