We build oceans of healthy and diverse fisheries now and for the future, by keeping the ocean food web intact from the smallest of prey to the mightiest of predators, and ensuring the habitats they call home are protected. We do this by leveraging science and collaborations to forge long-lasting change.
The immediate threat posed by overfishing is aggravated by the long-term threat of large-scale changes in marine ecosystems. Saltwater fish spend most of their lives in near-coastal waters, where their environment is continually assaulted by pollution, development or destructive fishing practices. Marine debris ensnares or is ingested by wildlife causing widespread harm.
Now industries are turning their attention to the development of our offshore waters in pursuit of energy sources and for the construction of large-scale aquaculture operations. The massive destruction of wetlands, corals and other vital habitats directly reduces the number of fish the ocean can support. Without healthy, properly functioning marine ecosystems, fish cannot grow and reproduce – in a word, they can’t survive.
To conserve fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and other ocean wildlife, we must preserve the quality of their environment. Disturb it, alter it or contaminate it, and they suffer. Sometimes they die outright. More often the effects are subtle, almost imperceptible. As their environment deteriorates, their reproduction and development are retarded. Productivity is stifled. The number of fish declines.
Whatever threatens the productivity of the sea is a grave threat to fishing’s future. Wild Oceans works to strengthen protections for coastal and marine habitats essential to the productivity of ocean fisheries.
Advocate for the protection and sustainable use of fisheries resources in a manner that fosters healthy, balanced, and resilient marine ecosystems.
Advance the integration of ecosystem-based approaches into fisheries management.
Develop and promote management alternatives that account for and maintain food web linkages and biodiversity.
Ensure that fish habitat designations and protections support ecosystem integrity.
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A RESPITE FOR MAKO
In November, after more than a decade of warning about the vulnerability and decline of North Atlantic shortfin mako shark, international managers banned the retention of all shortfin mako sharks for two years. International scientists have advised that a moratorium is the most immediate step we can take to reverse the decline and rebuild the population, but it will still take more than five decades to fully recover this deeply depleted population.
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