AFP - Polluted, crossed by busy shipping lanes, and disputed by many countries, the South China Sea has taken an environmental battering that threatens future food supplies, marine scientists have warned.
In a decade the sea — at the heart of a densely populated and rapidly industrialising region — has lost 16 percent of its coral reefs and coastal mangroves and 30 percent of its sea grass, says the United Nations.
The exploitation of its fisheries, both legal and illegal, by family boats and industrial deep sea trawlers now threatens to deplete fish stocks that millions of people rely on, a Hanoi conference heard last week.
"The key issues on a basin scale are habitat degradation and loss, overfishing and land-based pollution," said Vo Si Tuan, who served as Vietnam representative to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) South China Sea Project.
"There are many, many problems, but these are the biggest."
The South China Sea is ringed by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, with about 350 million people living along its coastal areas.
"The international trends are more pronounced in the South China Sea.
Erosion from deforestation along the Red River is pouring silt into the bay, where shrimp farms and land reclamation have destroyed mangroves and heavy shipping, coal mining and tourism are polluting the waters.
"There is more and more pressure on the South China Sea, from fisheries but also from other exploitation like oil and gas and ballast waters from ships that introduce invasive species....
RLCC Comment: The capitalist say let the invisible hand fix it. Don't do anything to regulate anything. If you do, you'll be introducing market distortions and inefficiencies. Your selfishness will cause you properly to adjust.
God though says that you ought to be good stewards of the land from the start. You ought to care about all the other people. You ought to self-regulate before the problems occur. You ought to be unselfish rather than selfish. Who do you think has the better vision, the longer-term vision and your best interest at heart?
They call it a "no-brainer." Does that mean that you have hardly any brains if you think the selfish ones are right, or that it takes hardly any brains at all to clearly see that God is right, or both?
, obtained via: , April 12, 2008, 6:47pm