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2009年考研英语时文阅读及翻译之环境保护

黄涛   2008-11-25 11:01 【 】【我要纠错
环境保护
英语的消亡
   

  Protecting Earth's Last Frontier

  In 1962, John Glenn relayed this message to mission control when his pioneering flight on the Friendship 7 spacecraft passed across Western Australia at night: The lights show up very well. Thank everyone for turning them on, will you?

  If he looked down from space today he might no longer see just the lights of our cities but the many lights of fishing boats. These lights can be so dense that they visibly can be so dense that they visibly outline the outer part of the South American continental shelf and entire seas in Asia.

  These lights are from fishers using light to lure squis. This intense activity symbolizes the broader plight of our oceans. The imposing footprint of humanity has advanced from our shores and into the high seas, the ocean waters beyond national jurisdiction. This footprint damages and depletes almost everything in its path.

  With the depletion of the cod fishery and so many other coastal fish stocks worldwide, the fishing industry has turned to the high seas to exploit their resources. Fishing operations are targeting the seamounts, oceanic ridges and pateaus of the deep ocean beyond natioanl jurisdiction, where ownership and responsibility don't lie with any nation.

  In the course of a decade or more, we have caused significant damage to largely unknown ecosystems, depleted species and probably doomed many others to extinction. Every day, commercial fishing fleets dispatched primarily from just 11 nations venture onto the high seas to fish the deep ocean with seabed trawls.

  They deploy massive gear with names like canyon buster that indicate the sheer scales involved and the damage they inflict. Everything along their path, from ancient corals and sponges to 250-year-old fish, is stripped away and caught in their nets. In a single trawl, lumps of sponges, corals, and other species, together weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, can be removed. What is left is truly a stark, sterile, undersea desert.

  The high seas are very special. It is here where you can find dense groupings of animals that derive their energy from sources other than the sun around volcanic vents on the deep sea floor. It is only here where you can find areas still free from introduced species, as in the seas around Antarctica. And it is here where you can find living organisms that are more than 8,000 years old, like many of the massive deep-sea corals.

  But what really sets the high seas apart from all other areas we know is the overwhelming lack of protection for any of this natural heritage.

  A United Nations meeting this week finally put the high seas on the map and on the agenda. Governmental officials from around the world gathered together with scientists, representatives from the fishing sector, conservation groups and other stakeholders to discuss conversation and sustainable use of amrine biological diversity in the high seas, covering 64 percent of the earth's surface.

  They need to move quickly. Given the fragility of these environments, we simply do not have the luxury of time, but we can act before it is too late.

  As we continue to build our understanding of the oceans and life within, we must establish marine protected areas that extend beyond just the areas we know today to be valuable or threatened.

  We must place biodiversity conservation at the center of ocean governance, build the precautionary approach into the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and ensure that every activity in these areas beyond national jurisdiction——be it fishing, mining, transportation, tourism or research——is conducted in a sustainable manner that is fair to present and future generations.

  We must recognize that all of the geographical, geological and biological parts of the oceans are interrelated, interdependent and equal one tremendously significant ecosystem whole.

  Right now, we have this opportunity to prevent the extinction of countless species and ecosystems that are only just being discovered, let alone understood. Now is the time to protect our last undiscovered wilderness, the world's final frontier——the high seas.

  保护地球的最后边疆

  1962年,当约翰格伦首次驾驶“友谊7号”太空船于晚上穿越澳大利亚西部时,他向任务控制中心传达了这样一条信息:“灯光看得很清楚。请感谢每一位打开电灯的人,好吗?”如果现在他从太空往下看,看到的也许不再只是我们城市的万家灯火。还会看到渔船的点点灯光。渔船的灯光非常密集,可以清清楚楚地勾勒出南美大陆架的外部轮廓以及整个亚洲海域的轮廓。

  这些灯光是渔民用来引诱鱿鱼的。如此强度的捕鱼活动意味着我们的海洋所面临的困境日益加深。人类强行留下的痕迹已由海岸推进到不属于任何国家管辖的公海。这些足迹所到之处破坏并耗尽了几乎一切资源。

  随着全世界鳕鱼和其它众多沿海鱼类资源逐渐枯竭,捕鱼业已转向公海开发鱼类资源。捕鱼作业现在瞄准的是不受任何国家管辖的深海的海山,海脊和高原,因为这些地方的所有权和责任不属于任何国家。

  在十年多的时间里,我们已对大量未知的生态系统造成了重大的破坏,使许多物种枯竭,还可能使许多物种遭受灭绝的厄运。每天,主要由11个国家派出的商业捕鱼船进入公海,用海底拖网进行深海捕捞。

  他们所调用的庞大设备所取的名字都是诸如“峡谷战神”之类,由此可见其作业规模及造成的破坏之大。所经之处,从古珊瑚,海绵到250岁的鱼,被洗劫一空,尽入其网。一张拖网就能网起成堆的海绵,珊瑚及其它物种,总重量可达1万磅。拖网过后留下的只是一片荒凉,贫瘠的海底沙漠。

  公海是个特别之处。在这儿,你能发现密集的动物群,它们所摄取的能量不是来自深海底部的火山口周围的阳光。只有在这儿,你才能发现还有像南极洲周围的海域那样的尚没有引进物种的海域。也只有在这儿,你才能发现存活了8000多年的生物,例如许多巨大的深海珊瑚。

  但是公海与其它所有我们知道的海域真正不同之处在于,对这一自然遗产的保护非常缺乏。本周的一次联合国会议终于突出了公海问题的重要性并将其排上议事日程。全世界的政府官员和科学家,捕鱼业的代表,自然资源保护组织及其它利益相关者会聚一堂,讨论对覆盖地球表面64%的公海海洋生物多样物种进行保护和可持续性开发利用的问题。

  他们需要赶快行动。鉴于这些生物环境的脆弱性,我们真的耽搁不起,但我们还能亡羊补牢。

  随着我们对海洋和海洋生物越来越了解,我们必须建立海洋保护区,起范围要超出我们今天所知的有价值的或会受到威胁的那些区域。

  我们必须把保护生物多样性放在海洋管理的中心地位,把建立防范措施写进《联合国海洋法公约》,确保在这些不属于任何国家管辖的区域内的每项活动――无论是捕鱼,采矿,运输,旅游,还是科学研究――都本着公平对待我们这代人和子孙后代的原则,以可持续发展的方式展开。

  我们必须意识到,海洋在地理,地质和生物方面都是相互关联,相互依存的,共同构成了一个极其重要的完整的生态系统。

  现在,我们有这个机会防止刚被发现,更不用说了解的无数物种和生态系统。当前正是保护我们最后一块尚未发现的未开发之地,世界的边疆――公海――的时候了。

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