Reversing the rapid decline in ocean health is critical to addressing climate change. It is a global challenge requiring a global solution. Our oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface, generate over 50% of the world’s oxygen, absorb half the carbon produced and account for 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. Ocean Health is critical for economic and food security reasons, with over 100 million households livelihoods dependent on the fisheries industry and 3 billion dependent on seafood as their primary protein.
All indicators on ocean health indicate a biosphere in rapid decline. Demand for seafood is increasing, yet most of the world’s fisheries are in collapse with 85% fully exploited. Ocean acidification and sea temperature rise have led to coral bleaching and increasing ocean dead-zones. Many scientists fear we are on the brink of a large scale maritime extinction event unless urgent action is taken.
The World Economic Forum’s Ocean Action Agenda project supports a range of initiatives and events from the public and private sectors to ensure the long term sustainable use of the Ocean. Designed as a PPP delivery mechanism to help advance SDG 14 ('Life Below Water'), the New Ocean Vision offers a platform for key industries to work together with government, civil society and the scientific community on implementation and accountability. This unprecedented multistakeholder coalition seeks to improve ocean management by exploring cross-cutting opportunities and leveraging new technologies to scale promising solutions. It has three primary objectives through 2020: