The ocean is full of wonders. There are thousands of animal species under the waves. Sadly, this world is in danger. It faces problems such as warmer temperatures and . Experts want to help though. On March 4, leaders agreed on a . It aims to protect the ocean.
The United Nations is behind this agreement. The promise is called the High Seas Treaty. The deal will protect plants and animals in the “high seas.” Nations often control waters that are closest to their land. But the high seas are part of the open ocean. There, all countries can fish, sail, and do research. No set group controls these areas. So, it can be hard to keep them clean.
Sea critters are in danger. The planet is warming due to . This shift affects the seas. It can kill coral reefs. Many animals live in corals. Some critters have also been overfished. Plastic pollution is another issue. Animals can get tangled up in the plastic. They also may eat the trash, thinking it is food.
The High Seas Treaty aims to battle these troubles. It will create national parks called marine protected areas. Humans may not be able to fish in these areas. And workers will take action to control pollution.
The treaty will make countries share resources from the sea. Those resources include plants and animals that can be used for food or medicine. The High Seas Treaty isn’t in effect yet. Countries need to meet again. They will decide whether or not to adopt the treaty.
Many experts are excited. They include Rick Murray. He leads the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “This new treaty is a landmark step,” Murray shared.
Murray explained that the protections will affect a deep, dark part of the ocean. That spot is called the twilight zone. Unique critters live there. The twilight zone helps move a substance called carbon to the bottom of the ocean. This slows the effects of climate change. Protecting this spot is key.
Murray added another message about the new agreement. He said: “This treaty offers hope.”
Updated March 8, 2023, 5:01 P.M. (ET)
By Alexa Tirapelli