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whale emerging for air

Article

Blue Marine Foundation

The charity at the forefront of allowing fish stocks to recover and ecosystems to thrive

Words by Pelorus

It’s no secret that mankind is ravaging the planet of its natural resources, no more so than at sea, where 90 percent of wild fish stocks are over-fished or fully exploited. As this number grows, so too does the threat of food security and the oceans’ inability to absorb CO2.

The solution to this crisis, says Blue Marine Foundation, is to define large parts of the world’s oceans as marine reserves and ban industrial fishing, allowing fish stocks to recover and ecosystems to thrive. Currently, only four percent is protected.

sting rays
beams of sunlight falling on the aquatic life

Since its inception in 2010, BLUE has achieved a huge amount of impactful ocean conservation, including catalysing the creation of the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in Chagos in 2010, helping to persuade the government to create an even bigger reserve around Pitcairn in the Pacific in 2015, and facilitating the closure of 52.6 percent of Ascension’s waters to fishing from January 2016 to the foreseeable future. And this is just the start. The charity aims to put 10 percent of the world’s oceans under protection by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030.

The facts

  • Around 90% of global fish stocks are fully or over-exploited, and around 90% of large fish are gone
  • 72% of the planet is water. Only 4% of it is under protection
  • The ocean produces over half of the oxygen we breathe…
  • …and absorbs half of the carbon dioxide we produce