Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding

Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding

The window of opportunity to stabilize marine ecosystems and mitigate the impact on them of climate change, coastal development, shipping, overfishing, and pollution is narrowing, a report commissioned by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation from the California Environmental Associates warns. According to the report, Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding (116 pages, PDF), philanthropic grantmaking for marine conservation by foundations totaled roughly $400 million in 2015, mostly for fisheries and protected areas. The report also found that most fisheries are fully or overfished, with illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing accounting for as much as 53 percent of the global catch; and that the fundamental chemistry of the ocean is changing at an unprecedented rate. Moreover, despite notable expansions of large-scale protected areas in relatively remote parts of the ocean in recent years, the current level of protection is less than halfway to the Aichi Target 11 of conserving 10 percent of the global ocean by 2020. Opportunities for major commitments may be declining, the report’s authors further note, and options for addressing threats to ocean health will become more limited, less effective, and substantially costlier as time goes by.