Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ocean Health On The Global Agenda

If it's raining where you are, the ocean played a role. If you drove to work, the seas are absorbing the carbon dioxide from your car. If you ordered seafood for lunch, it may have traveled halfway around the world to land on your plate.

No matter where you live on Earth, what you do affects the ocean – and what happens to the ocean affects you.

The ocean covers more than two-thirds of the world's surface. In the past 50 years we have learned more about Earth's ocean than in all of preceding human history. But, at the same time we learned more, we lost more.

The amount of marine life we extract to feed ourselves is astronomical, and some of our fishing methods – dynamite fishing, bottom trawling, cyanide fishing, and other techniques – cause great damage to current and future fish stocks and to the underwater world in which they thrive. Today, 90 percent of the ocean's top predators are gone. Entire populations of fish, and the communities and economies they support, have collapsed. Seafloors look like war zones. Corals have been bleached white from chemical runoff. Dead zones – vast swaths of ocean that can no longer support life – are spreading throughout the marine realm.

These critical issues don't deter us. With our partners, we've embarked on a scientific mission that will tell us exactly where species and marine ecosystems are most threatened and what actions we can take to reverse them. Our research to date has already helped strengthen three protected 

“Seascapes” in critical marine areas around the world.

Our partnerships are diverse. Some of the industries we work with to protect marine life may surprise you:
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