Opportunities to Engage: Oceans

There’s a strong business case for acting now to help secure resilient and productive oceans. Healthy oceans are fundamental to meeting basic human needs as they feed, employ, and protect billions of people from sea level rise, flooding, storm surges, and disasters.

The ocean economy generates more than $2.5 trillion in value every year, which is all at risk if overexploitation and climate change continue on their current, parallel trajectories. Businesses have a lead role to play in securing more resilient and productive oceans that benefit people and nature. We have many of the solutions. Industry leaders are needed to scale solutions for even greater impact.

  • Source responsible, sustainable seafood

    The global trade in seafood is big business, which means the best solution for ensuring long-term supply, profitability, and reputational safety is a well-developed and well-implemented sustainable seafood sourcing strategy.

    Creating such a plan allows companies to put systems in place that identify problem areas and iron out imbalances, inefficiencies, and illegality in every part of the seafood supply chain. And by implementing this type of balanced, self-reinforcing system, industry leaders can help ensure that resilient, productive oceans continue to provide for families. A smart strategy can also bring in new business, attract more consumers, and satisfy investors who are increasingly demanding that companies’ seafood is more sustainably and responsibly produced.

    WWF works with seafood stakeholders along global supply chains from fishers and farmers to retail on transitioning toward sustainable, responsible, and traceable seafood from both wild-caught fisheries and farmed seafood species. Learn more about seafood sustainability.

    Traditional boat on the Yangtze River, Hubei Province, China..
  • Online Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) Training

    Fishery improvement projects—or FIPs—are multi-stakeholder efforts to improve fishing practices and management so that species, habitats, and people can all thrive. The projects use the power of the private sector to incentivize positive changes toward sustainability in fisheries and seek to make these changes endure by establishing new government policies.

    WWF in collaboration with several other organizations have developed this training program to provide fishery stakeholders worldwide with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and implement FIPs—without having to travel to in-person conferences or workshops. The program includes seven courses along with case studies to reinforce learning and resources to help you along your future FIP journey. Learn more about the online training.

    Offloading freshly caught skipjack tuna from a vessel that is outfitted with electronic monitoring.
  • Traceability & Transparency

    Seafood supply chains are complex and global. So for seafood buyers to know what they’re buying, robust traceability systems must be in place. These allow companies to obtain reliable, consistent, and transparent information on where fish products are coming from, all the way from point of origin, which is either fishing vessel or a farm. Sourcing information must be able to easily flow between points across a company’s supply chain, and that takes industry leadership to ensure common data elements are collected. After three years of consensus-based dialogue, the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability released its Standards and Guidelines for Interoperable Seafood Traceability Systems, v1.0 and now 71 companies have committed to implementing the standards.

    Commercial fisher
  • Endangered species guide

    There are several hundred known endangered marine and freshwater species linked to human seafood consumption. As part of its continuous efforts to mitigate the effects of the global food system, WWF has developed a user-friendly and practical guide identifying the main at-risk creatures found in seafood supply chains. This resource aims at assisting companies, buyers, chefs, and consumers at large in making informed decisions while sourcing seafood. The Endangered Marine Species Guide was developed by WWF US in collaboration with marine experts across the global WWF Network. Learn more about the guide.

    Commercial fishers
  • Help end plastic pollution

    Ghost gear is the deadliest form of marine plastic debris, which damages vital ocean habitats and poses dangers to navigation and livelihoods. An unhealthy seascape is an unproductive seascape, and that has ripple effects throughout local communities and global supply chains.

    The bottom line is that ghost gear is bad for nature and bad for business. It undermines the sustainability and economic returns from fisheries. Some studies estimate that over 90% of species caught in ghost gear are of commercial value. That’s value lost.

    Businesses can join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, the world’s only global cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the ghost gear problem. Over 135 leading retailers, brands, fishing companies, governments, and non-government organizations have joined the initiative, including WWF.

    Plastic in the oceans
  • Mangroves for climate

    Coastal ecosystems do a lot more than protect people and businesses from storm surge and flooding—they also help the world tackle the climate crisis. The private sector can increase its investments in oceans nature-based climate solutions, including mangroves and seaweed, and realize a return on investment that benefits both business and society. Business can help to build innovative approaches to funding mangrove restoration and protection that ensure fair and equitable support for local communities. Companies can also promote green approaches that integrate coastal ecosystems into infrastructure solutions to climate change. Learn more about the oceans and climate solutions here.

  • Smart Arctic Shipping

    As warming temperatures melts Arctic sea ice, increasing commercial ship traffic through the Arctic is adding stress and risk of accidents to an already rapidly shifting environment.

    Shipping routes across the Arctic are significantly shorter than the routes commonly used today. Around the world 90% of goods are transported by ship, and Arctic routes represent huge potential savings in time and costs. Although these routes will not be open year round, companies are already investing billions of dollars in tankers capable of going through ice.

    WWF has produced tools to help companies assess risk and reduce the impacts of shipping, which are available here.

    WWF has also produced a plan for smart shipping through the Bering Strait region, which is available here.

    Arctic shipping route