By Cristián Frers *
The increasing impact of human activities on nature is causing accelerated biodiversity loss. The main cause is the destruction of ecosystems, when farmland is placed on virgin lands, drying up swamps or cutting down forests or when the conditions of the waters or the atmosphere are changed by pollution or when habitats are destroyed in the extraction of resources .
When you think about the extinction of species, the normal thing is to imagine animals such as the southern right whale, the panda bear, the black rhinoceros or other well-known animals that have disappeared as a species or that are in serious danger. The size, life habits or appearance of these or other animals make public opinion particularly easily sensitized to these species.
Although it is very difficult to quantify the rate at which these species are being lost, some authors assume that thousands of species become extinct every year and that by 2,025 up to half of those currently existing could disappear. It should be understood that these figures are not specific and known species that have already become extinct. They are estimates and calculations that are made based on the rate of destruction of habitats or ecosystems.
Seas and oceans face unprecedented massive loss. The disappearance of the largest species can disrupt these ecosystems for millions of years.
The Argentine government of Engineer Mauricio Macri is advancing with an ambitious plan to protect 10% of the surface of the Argentine Sea, through the creation of marine national parks in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), to be fulfilled before 2020 , with the international commitments, assumed during the previous government, where little and nothing progress was made.
I was one of the promoters of these projects, along with many other scientists; You can read my project in the INTER-FORUM Magazine published in 2003:
At a global level, it seeks to join efforts to protect viable samples of biological populations, type of habitats and processes of the oceanic ecosystem and, thus, create conditions of sustainability in the short, medium and long term.
Protecting the Argentine sea is a pending debt and represents a qualitative leap in environmental conservation issues.
Although the areas to be protected will be subject to debate, some of the potential areas would be:
-The maritime front of the Río de la Plata, a neuralgic area for the conservation of the yellow croaker, the main food of penguins, albatrosses and sea lions.
-The oceanic strip in the Province of Chubut, an extensive maritime corridor, where hake and shrimp breed. It is an area of importance for the feeding of sea lions and elephants, Magellan penguins, dolphins and aquatic birds.
-The edge of the southern continental shelf, called the Blue Hole, which is located on the slope of the platform and is relevant during the annual cycle of the Argentine squid.
The riches that the oceans provide are limited and, depending on the responsible use we make of them, the perpetuity of these resources for us and future generations will be ensured or not.
* Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication (Journalist).