Tercek, Mark

Mark Tercek is he CEO of the Nature Conservancy.

Sharks Hold Key to Healthy Marine Systems

By Mark Tercek
Nature Conservancy

As society struggles against the threats of surging population, climate change, biodiversity loss and degraded land, water and marine systems, what on earth could we possibly learn from a near-pristine atoll free of people in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

I went diving at Palmyra Atoll to find out.

Palmyra sits 1,000 miles south of Hawai‛i. The Nature Conservancy purchased Palmyra in 2000 in order to save it. Others had tried to buy it to convert to a nuclear waste dump, a rocket launch pad, a retirement development, or a casino. Except for a brief stint during World War II when the US Navy used it as a troop transport station, Palmyra has essentially been free of people.