Every year hundreds of thousands of marine animals – such as sea turtles, seals, dolphins and whales – are harmed by ocean plastic pollution. Abandoned plastic fishing nets are a significant part of the problem. These nets can travel long distances from their points of origin and can remain in the ocean long after they are discarded, resulting in the entrapment and death of marine mammals, sea birds and fish. The result is an increasingly critical global threat to marine life.
The UN Ocean Conference and World Ocean Festival will mark a historic convening of thinkers and doers from all over the world. But the momentum we feel when we’re together will only lead to lasting impact if we make a commitment (and a plan) to collaborate more effectively beyond the inspiration of events to unfold.
It didn't take long for the Trump administration to make its views on science known — especially climate science. The EPA's website no longer features a climate science page (it now redirects to an "energy independence" page). And just this week the administration officially announced the plan to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. So, for better or for worse, it's the perfect time to celebrate our oceans and encourage those in power to fight for them at this weekend's World Ocean Festival in NYC.
On June 4, 2017, supporters of united action against Climate Change and in the pursuit of the global Sustainable Development Goals including ocean-focused Sustainable Development Goal 14 will take to the waterways of New York Harbor and to the shores of Governors Island to send a message to world leaders to #saveourocean.
For the first time ever, we know the full potential of fish recovery in Europe and it’s good news!
If we fully implement the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and manage stocks sustainably, fish catches can increase by 57% or 5 million tonnes. That’s a lot of extra fish currently missing from European seas.
It connects countries, ethnic and socio-economic groups, land life with sea life. If our rivers are our veins running through our earth, perhaps the Ocean is our lungs. After all, our lungs are about 83% water and the oceans cover 75% of the earth’s surface. The Ocean sustains all life on earth, absorbing 30% of all carbon dioxide.
The oceans not only sustain marine life, but our own–connecting us all across the world, providing sustenance, transport, economies, livelihoods. Meanwhile, illegal fishing threatens species, sustenance, and economies worldwide; pollution in the form of chemical run-off, spills, plastics, and more damages and destroys marine life and enters our food chain; and climate change is killing our coral reefs, flooding human and animal habitats, and feeding a disastrous feedback loop of rising world temperatures.
New York City is a premier coastal city. With a population of 8.5 million residents and a coastline of 520 miles, we recognize the clear and inescapable link between climate change and our oceans and that protecting the health of our planet through effective management of our natural resources, including our oceans, is critical.
We have an incredible line-up of speakers at the World Ocean Festival Ocean Village to announce today! With the support of our Founding Sponsor National Geographic we will welcome some of the world’s top ocean scientists, entrepreneurs to Governors Island on June 4 in free, public dialogue on the topics of: “Coral Reefs and Climate” (11:00 a.m.), “Plastic Pollution” (1:30 p.m.), “Fishing and Seafood” (2:30 p.m.) and “Urban Ocean: Conservation” (3:30 p.m.). See the full program line-up and speaker bios here.
As part of our VR Pavilion at the World Oceans Festival we’ll be showcasing a variety of films including a preview of Making Waves: Re-engineering Aquaculture in Tanzania. Davar Ardalan is Director of Storytelling and Engagement at Secondmuse and tells us more about the 360/VR film & what we’ll be able to experience on June 4th.
It is estimated that 10-20 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans each year. These include microplastics, which impose severe degradation to natural capital suffered by animals and their habitats. Recent reports confirm that deep-sea animals down in the Mariana Trench, Earth’s deepest point, are ingesting this pollution, which has also found its way into the Arctic. If things don’t change, we could see more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.
We asked our community to share their fondest memories of the Ocean and why they love it. Our friend, Sebastian Nicholls of Sustainable Oceans Alliance, submitted the following essay. Want to share your own memory? Post a photo, share the memory and tag #oceanmemory on social media!
Human well-being and human rights are inextricably tied to the health of the ocean, yet ocean conservation work is often isolated. Last month, as the United National General Assembly focused on tackling the grand challenges represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both the ocean goal (aka Goal 14, “Life Under Water”) and me, as a marine biologist, were a bit lonely.