Environment: Saving the Seas

The oceans that cover two-thirds of the earth's surface are its biggest dump. The theory has always been that the seas could absorb any amount of filth and sewage, but leading scientists have repeatedly warned that the waters' capacity to purify lethal industrial wastes is limited and that poisons entering the marine food cycle become concentrated in fish.

Last week representatives of 91 nations, including all the major maritime powers, heeded those warnings and wrote a new chapter in the law of the sea. After 15 days of often bitter debate, delegates signed an agreement to forbid the dumping of highly toxic...

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