Oceana’s mission – biodiverse and productive oceans

Oceana’s mission is to protect and restore the world’s oceans. We work to ensure that the oceans are biodiverse, resilient and able to feed the billion people worldwide who depend on seafood for their sustenance. We launch targeted, science-based policy campaigns in the select number of countries that control most of the world’s wild catch. Our approach works – Oceana wins concrete victories for the oceans that increase their productivity and protect their biodiversity. Oceana is the world’s largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation and has offices in North America, Europe, Chile, and Belize.

The problems our oceans face

The oceans cover 71 percent of the globe and provide an essential source of protein for nearly half the people of the world and jobs for over 200 million people. They power local economies throughout the world, provide recreation for millions of people, and generate tourism that is important to the economy of many coastal nations. They play a fundamental role in controlling the global climate. The health of the oceans is therefore directly tied to the health of our planet, our food, and our economic security.

The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization reports that 80 percent of seafood species are overexploited, fully exploited or recovering from depletion. This has consequences not just for the people who rely on the ocean for animal protein; marine predators like dolphins are also at risk when they can’t find enough food to eat.

Let's save the ocean to feed the world

Oceana has a record of policy achievements in the United States, Europe, Belize, and Chile.  As the largest international organization working solely on protecting the oceans, we focus on reforming national policies to protect ocean life.  Through science-based campaigns, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures.  A list of some of our accomplishments and other information can be found on our website, www.oceana.org.

We live on a hungry planet.  The UN predicts that the world population will grow by 28 percent from seven billion today to over nine billion in 2050.  It also estimates that the world must produce 70 percent more food to meet expected greater demand.  And today, one billion people already wake up hungry every day.  Experts rightly ask:  Given the earth’s already stressed systems, where will all the food come from?

One answer – too often overlooked – is our oceans.  Our oceans can, if properly tended, provide a nutritious meal every day to nearly a 700 million people.  But the oceans are in trouble because of overfishing, and if we don’t take action seafood may soon disappear as a major food source for a hungry planet.  Fortunately, it is possible to reverse this trend and save the oceans by putting in place science-based fisheries management to stop overfishing, reduce by-catch and protect habitat in the 30 countries that produce and control 90 percent of the world’s wild seafood.

If we save the oceans, we can help feed the world.