The Blue Commons

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Planet Earth is mostly blue; about 70% of the earth's surface is covered by the oceans, which provide half of the oxygen we breathe and about three-quarters of all life on Earth. But who owns the sea? About 40% of the world's population lives in coastal communities and depend on ocean resources. Yet over the 20th century governments and corporations around the world have pushed the fatally flawed maxim of 'blue growth', and as a result nearly all fish stocks are either fully or over-exploited. In the neoliberal era, it has been extensively enclosed and privatized, generating multiple inequalities. A system of rentier capitalism now dominates human activity in the sea, based on privatization, financial capital and a drive for profit over people and ecosystems. Substantial and detailed, 'The Blue Commons' peels back the veil of the boundless exploitation and corruption.