Nearly one billion people currently do not have enough to eat. The demand for food is projected to increase 70 percent by 2050 as the population grows to an expected nine billion. An often-overlooked solution to this problem is our oceans. A fully productive ocean could provide one nutritious meal a day for 700 million people, or 13 to 15 percent of the animal protein produced on the entire planet. Moreover, wild-caught ocean fish uses no land, needs negligible amounts of water, is the lowest cost per pound to obtain, and provides human health benefits.
Unfortunately, ocean productivity is drastically declining due to overfishing, destructive fishing practices, marine habitat loss and pollution. If action is not taken to reverse this trend now, wild seafood may soon disappear as a major food source for a hungry planet. There is good news, however: restoring wild seafood is achievable and there are many examples of fish rebounding under science-based management, which is also surprisingly feasible. Science gives us clear direction about how to manage fish recovery. Fish will recover if we –
- Set reasonable fishing quotas and reduce industrial overfishing.
- Reduce bycatch (the incidental catch of non-targeted animals).
- Protect marine habitat, both in preserving biodiversity and ecosystem health, as well as from the harmful effects of marine pollution.
Oceana is headquartered in Washington, DC and has offices in New York City, NY; Juneau, AK, Portland, OR, Monterey, CA, City of Belmopan, Belize; Brussels, Belgium; Brasilia, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Copenhagen, Denmark; Lima, Peru; Manila, Philippines; Madrid, Spain. Oceana boasts a worldwide staff of more than 200 full time professionals and an annual operating budget of approximately $43 million dollars.
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