The world’s high seas – our so-called international waters – represent nearly 50% of the planet’s surface but are not owned by any state. Research shows that around half of fishing in the high seas would not be profitable without government subsidies or slave labour… So could we protect it by creating a giant marine reserve, and let nature flourish?
In this episode, Enric speaks honestly with Bryony and Peter about the desperate situation our oceans are facing. Despite the urgent and very real threats to marine life globally, he remains both pragmatic and optimistic about humanity’s ability to protect our seas and to find solutions that work for both people and planet.
Enric Sala is the National Geographic’s ‘Explorer-in-Residence’ which, as he describes in this podcast, is somewhat of an oxymoron. Formerly a university professor, Enric saw himself writing the obituary of ocean life and so quit academia to become a full-time conservationist. Enric has had an astonishing career, having earned numerous awards for his work. He founded and leads Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to support and empower local communities and inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 22 of the largest marine reserves on the planet, covering an area of 5.8 million square km.