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News Currents

A current events product that introduces learners to the world around them in a unique and engaging way.

Story Text | International News
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U.N. countries agree to historic ocean protection treaty
“High seas” make up around 60 percent of our oceans. 
Members of the United Nations, or U.N., recently agreed to an important treaty to protect Earth’s oceans. Does anyone know what a treaty is? (An agreement between countries.) This treaty is meant to protect the animals that live in “high seas” around the world. High seas are parts of the ocean far away from any country. The high seas make up about 60 percent of our oceans. Right now, there are no laws that govern the high seas. Animals in the high seas are threatened by fishing, mining, and pollution. So, to protect these animals, U.N. countries are working together to create safe spaces in the ocean. These areas are called “marine protected areas.” They are like underwater national parks. In the future, there will be even more marine protected areas. Fishing, mining, and pollution will be illegal in these protected areas. Do you think this treaty does enough to protect our oceans and underwater animals? What else could be done?

On the screen, you can see three of the biggest threats our oceans face today. What are they? (Climate change, plastic pollution, and overfishing.) Climate change is causing ocean temperatures to rise. This makes it harder for certain underwater plants and animals to survive. Coral reefs have already been damaged by climate change. Experts are worried that climate change could wipe out all coral reefs by 2100. Plastic pollution is also a big issue. Humans toss 14 million tons of plastic into the ocean every year. Experts say this plastic kills around 1 million underwater animals every year. How could humans prevent this from happening? Some fishermen choose to break the law by catching more fish than they are allowed to. Why do you think they do this? This can lead to overfishing, which is when the number of fish in a certain area is greatly lowered due to too much fishing. Overfishing is hurting our oceans too. Do you think the new treaty will help solve these problems? 
**Not included in this demo is the text zoom option.**
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