Our oceans, with their enormous diversity of life and function, are essential to life on Earth and must be preserved.
Yet today the oceans are threatened by both governments and businesses who want to exploit ocean resources without considering the consequences. Exploitation of undersea mineral wealth is often done without regard for the environmental damage to land and sea. Greed and indiscriminate harvesting techniques lead to needless devastation of marine species.
Ocean vessels contaminate the sea through leaks large and small, and by dumping their refuse with impunity. Whole oceans are threatened with radioactive contamination by ships transporting weapons-grade plutonium, and by oceanic testing of nuclear weapons. The oceans are further contaminated by heavily polluted streams and rivers, and by undersea toxic dump sites with secret contents.
The Green Party supports ocean protection measures:
- · The U.S. signing the Laws of the Sea Treaty that establishes the global sharing of ocean resources.
- · Support the National Oceans Protection Act which bans offshore drilling to a distance of 50 to 175 miles from U.S. shores.
- · Support the California Sanctuary Act that established permanent protection of state waters.
- · Establish environmental standards for ocean-going vessels.
- · Ban ocean transportation of nuclear and toxic wastes.
- · Map undersea toxic dump sites and, where possible, recover and treat the toxic wastes.
- · Ban drift-net fishing, a practice that indiscriminately kills marine mammals and other species not intended for the catch. Ban importing of fish and fish products from countries that use drift-nets.
- · Legislate phasing out U.S. factory trawlers while promoting sustainable, community-based fishing.
- · Ban the importing of coral products and the destruction of breakwaters which are necessary to protect dying reefs.
- · Maintain the ban on international whale trade debated at the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES).