By Jerry McCormick-Ray and G. Carleton Ray, TOF Board of Advisor Members
Located just a few miles from San Francisco, the waters within Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are part of a nationally significant marine ecosystem. (Photo by Hugh D Scott)
There is an anxiety about the oceans that concerns us all. The icons that we wish to protect are living in an ocean undergoing change. Climate change, ocean warming, acidification, anoxia, exotic species, and massive spills and contaminants increasingly expose sea life to physiological stresses. And in a system as big as the ocean, and a complexity more daunting than easily conceived, marine conservation confronts two contrasting ethics: the desire to conserve what lives in the ocean, and the right to use the ocean and its resources for private and public gain. Preserving the ocean’s biological richness in this cultural and philosophical divide requires major shifts in long-standing beliefs and habits, reinforced by agreed-upon, defensible, and enforceable legal constraints.