Target: President of Kiribati Anote Tong
Goal: Praise the nation of Kiribati for banning commercial fishing in its marine parks
As the world’s fish population is quickly decreasing thanks to overfishing, one nation has opted for drastic action to protect its oceans and marine wildlife. The nation of Kiribati has banned fishing in its marine parks in an attempt to preserve its coral reefs and other wildlife.
The nation of Kiribati is a chain of Pacific Islands existing between Hawaii and Fiji whose massive marine park is about the size of California. Commercial fishing in the country’s Phoenix Island Protected Area will go into effect on January 1, 2015. The southern Line Islands will also be closed at the same time to preserve the natural habitat of the oceans. It’s believed that the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands are one of the more pristine coral reefs archipelagos in the Pacific Ocean. Found in these reefs are vibrant corals reefs, a shark nursery, and an ocean floor littered with giant clams. It gave scientists a glimpse into what marine life was like when sharks — not humans — were the apex predator.
The ban is winning the president praise from marine scientists. By banning commercial fishing in the area, it will preserve biodiversity in the region and ensure that future generations can enjoy this natural habitat.
The Pheonix Islands Protected Area is 164,200 square miles and contains healthy coral reefs and eight coral atolls. The area is uninhabited except for the 50 or so people living in one atoll. President Tong has been criticized previously for not protecting the coral reefs in this area; only three percent of the reefs were protected from commercial fishing before this ban was announced. However, he realizes how crucial it is to preserve the area because of its lush wildlife. He also realizes that while the ban is in place, it needs to be enforced and his nation will invest money into aircrafts and satellite-based remote sensing.
Human consumption of fish has devastated our marine wildlife and one of the ways to save them is to stop overfishing. The nation of Kiribati should be praised for its commitment to preserving our oceans.
Dear Anote Tong,
Recently marine scientists have proposed the idea of closing our oceans to save our marine wildlife from overfishing. While the world hasn’t embraced this solution, I am glad your nation realizes the dangers of human activity and is banning commercial fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and the Line Islands.
Please know that this action is significant and will have a broad, positive impact on your marine ecosystems. I am writing to praise you for your actions and I hope you will enforce this ban so our coral reefs and sharks will continue to thrive.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jim E Maragos via Wikimedia Commons