U.N. Reaches Agreement to Protect the High SeasBy

Muhammad Hasnain Hassim, age 11 and IndyKids staff

The world’s governments reached an agreement on March 4, 2023, at the United Nations on the new High Seas Treaty, an international pact to protect marine life and stop pollution in the high seas.

The high seas are international waters where no country’s government has rules restricting what can happen there. This lack of governance has left much of our oceans at risk of overfishing, biodiversity loss and pollution due to ship traffic. The High Seas Treaty hopes to protect marine life by classifying international waters as protected areas. The United Nations will now create laws to prevent overfishing and reduce ship traffic.

The oceans help us combat climate change by reducing CO2 in the air and producing much of the world’s oxygen. Hans-Otto Pörtner, a climate scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, told Inside Climate News that the deal is a sign that countries understand “that we really depend on the planet’s life-sustaining abilities.”

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