Oceana will be bringing the marine perspective to WILD10, the 10th World Wilderness Congress, held in Salamanca between 4 and 10 October. The international marine conservation organization will display photographs from its expeditions and Xavier Pastor, executive director of Oceana in Europe and WILD10 ambassador, will give a talk on deep-sea corals.
"Conferences like WILD10 create an opportunity for the oceans to finally take center stage in discussions about nature conservation. Only a fraction of the oceans are protected; they are decades behind their land equivalents," explains Xavier Pastor. "What’s worse is that their degradation is going on unnoticed by the public. It's time to realize that the bounty of the ocean is not infinite. Pollution, overfishing and the destruction of marine habitats must be stopped before the damage becomes irreversible."
Although the vast majority of the ocean remains unknown, commercial exploitation has spread far from shore, reaching areas in the deep sea in recent years. Deep-sea corals have disappeared from most of Europe and are very vulnerable to destructive activities such as bottom trawling. Their protection in the Mediterranean is currently under discussion, which Pastor will discuss on Tuesday, October 8th at 17:00.
WILD10 will draw attention to a diverse group of stakeholders working on ecosystems that cover about three quarters of the planet, but which take up very little space in the list of political priorities. Oceana is calling for the creation of marine protected areas to achieve oceans that are wilder, and restored to their former glory. The photo exhibit depicting some of this rich biodiversity can be seen at the organization’s event stand.