WWF is urging the US government to establish regulations, including the proposal of a national traceability program to track seafood from the point where it is caught to its entry into the US, under which all species of fish are eventually covered.
In another critical step to protect oceans and conserve marine ecosystems, President Obama announced the development of important new tools to combat the global threat of illegal fishing at the ‘Our Oceans’ conference in Valparaiso, Chile. A new global initiative will focus on fisheries enforcement at sea.
After years of searching for oil in the cold and turbulent waters of Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its plans to drill for the “foreseeable future.” This announcement is the conclusion of weeks of summer exploration, where results of drilling to a depth of 6,800 feet indicated oil and gas findings were “not sufficient to warrant further exploration.”
WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report on the health of the ocean finds that the marine vertebrate population has declined by 49 percent between 1970 and 2012. The report tracks 5,829 populations of 1,234 mammal, bird, reptile, and fish species through a marine living planet index. The evidence, analyzed by researchers at the Zoological Society of London, paints a troubling picture.
For another year, Arctic sea ice will cover much less of the Arctic Ocean than it used to. And with less ice comes more killer whales—predators that feed on other whales, including some recovering species.
Illegal activities on the ocean include breaking fishing laws, poaching, ignoring marine protected areas, and polluting. Such actions contaminate or destroy delicate marine habitats—including coral reefs or sea turtle nesting beaches—and they deplete fish populations, upsetting the entire marine food chain. Countless species of marine animals die when accidentally caught in fishing gear; many of these animals are already victims of illegal harvest and trade.
The US government has given approval to Royal Dutch Shell to conduct exploratory drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska. WWF has long opposed drilling in this region, which is crucial for wildlife, fisheries and local people.
To better understand the post-release behavior of tagged green turtles, WWF and partners carefully fastened a GoPro—a tiny waterproof camera—to the back of a female sea turtle. The 15 minutes of footage the camera collected gives us a unique view of the Great Barrier Reef.
Swimming with sharks in Fiji is a conservation success; the communities that once harvested these sharks are now fully included in the dive venture, and continue to profit from the tourism they attract. Experiences like this reaffirm the work WWF is doing, advocating our efforts in moving the needle forward and making a lasting positive impact on the environment and people’s lives. It goes to show that we can learn from our experiences and become a wiser species.
A full ban on dumping in the Great Barrier Reef should come to fruition in a matter of months. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee has voted to maintain pressure on Australia to deliver on its promise to restore the health of the reef.
Illegal activities hurt our oceans, harming wildlife, people and ocean resources. We must use all the tools available to combat illegal activity. WWF identifies six essential components of a global strategy to fight illegality on the oceans.
WWF's Alison Cross reflects on her experience visiting Peru's only mahi mahi fishery. Fishers and their families rely on abundant fish stocks for their livelihoods. The fishers of Pucusana, government officials and others had finally recognized both the economic and environmental value of selling a sustainably sourced fish, with the long-term goal of achieving certification from the Marine Stewardship Council, an organization that recognizes sustainable fishing practices.
The economic value of marine ecosystem services to people and communities is expected to increase with the expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs), according to analysis of new research commissioned by WWF.
WWF today called on the U.S. government to prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off of Alaska, and not to issue any new permits until companies demonstrate that they can drill safely in the region.
Black market fishing is a global challenge which threatens the current health of our oceans as well as the livelihoods of those who rely on marine goods and services. There is an urgent need to find a way to verify the legal origin of seafood from bait to plate. WWF outlines six steps toward seafood traceability to help combat black market fishing.
Our oceans are worth at least $24 trillion, according to a new WWF report Reviving the Ocean Economy: The Case for Action–2015. And goods and services from coastal and marine environments amount to about $2.5 trillion each year—that would put the ocean as the seventh largest economy in the world if put into terms of Gross Domestic Product.
Five years later in the Gulf of Mexico and 26 years after the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, biologists are still recording lasting ecological impacts in these marine areas. Oil spills are impossible to contain in the marine environment, even under the best of conditions. Yet the US government has given Shell Oil Company a preliminary green light to push forward with offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean.