preserve healthy oceans

Preserve Healthy Oceans

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. Among other things, we’ve amended national fisheries law to identify and protect “essential fish habitat” as part of all federal fishery management planning.

We sponsored conferences to bring fishermen and environmentalists together to discuss ways to stem the loss of coastal habitat. We’ve spoken out against destructive technologies used to survey the ocean floor for non-renewable energy reserves and against a piecemeal approach to developing industrial-scale aquaculture operations offshore.

We obtained national and international protections for pelagic sargassum, open-ocean habitat for a diverse assemblage of marine life including young sea turtles, numerous marine birds, at least 145 species of invertebrates, and over 100 species of fishes.  We helped safeguard fragile deep sea corals through a network of protection zones that prohibit destructive mobile bottom-tending gear from operating in these valuable habitats.  And we’re working with U.S. fishery managers to develop, implement and strengthen Fishery Ecosystem Plans in the Atlantic and Pacific.

Latest News

Ocean View: Building on MSA for a Resilient Fisheries Future

by Rob Kramer, Wild Oceans President Few organizations involved in marine fisheries management in the United States can say that they have been there from the beginning. But that is indeed the case with Wild Oceans. Wild Oceans was founded in 1973 in response to the drafting of the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of...

Executive Order Tackles Resiliency

August 12, 2021 Preserving Fishing Opportunities While Protecting the Ocean Ecosystem Earlier this year, President Biden issued Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Importantly, the Order includes provisions to help protect our ocean ecosystems and future fishing opportunities. By proposing new or strengthening existing management and conservation measures, the Order...

Wild Oceans Sets New 5-Year Course

01/06/2021 Wild Oceans has kicked off the new year with a new 5-year strategic plan to guide us into the future.  The plan outlines clear and measurable goals, objectives and strategies for four priority conservation areas: 1) Large Marine Fish Conservation, 2) Sustainable Fishing Practices, 3) Ecosystems, and 4) Climate Change. Prior to initiating the…

Wild Oceans Joins World Climate Change Statement

“It is time to acknowledge the urgent need to act to address climate change. Delaying action to control greenhouse gas emissions is not an option if humankind wishes to conserve the aquatic
resources and environmental safety of the world.”

Press Release: Sportfishing Community Successfully Halts Expanding Longlines On The West Coast

For Immediate Release: Sportfishing Community Successfully Halts Expanding Longlines On The West Coast November 22, 2019 – This week, in a win for the sportfishing community, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council voted to not proceed with consideration of an amendment that would authorize shallow-set longline gear in West Coast highly migratory species. “As leaders in…

Fighting Pollution for a Pristine Ocean

Special to Wild Oceans, November 2018 Scuba diving is perhaps the greatest adventure in the world. Where else can you come face to face with creatures from your most fanciful dreams? As divers, we fly through the water like majestic birds, riding the ocean currents that bring life and beauty to the entire world. One...

A Sea of Plastic

The following story was originally published in the Wild Oceans Horizon newsletter in spring of 2017. (Issue No. 152) A Sea of Plastic About 30 years ago, while I was researching an article for Marlin magazine, “Plastics Plague Ocean Life,” an angler fishing a Texas tournament landed a marlin with a plastic ring from a...