The blue revolution

July 2009. Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface. They generate incredible power as shown by the Indian Ocean tsunami, causing destruction and despair in coastal communities. But beneath the surface of the oceans lies an extraordinarily diverse and relatively peaceful world. It is estimated that more than 1 million species live on coral reefs alone, and perhaps as many as 10 million in the deep seas. But this world, whose many secrets are still to be unlocked, is under siege. The threats facing the marine environment are numerous and complex yet less than 1% of the oceans are protected.

Seafood provides almost 20% of the world’s total animal protein intake, with this figure much higher in many coastal communities. But over-fishing is threatening the sustainable supply of this valuable resource and wreaking havoc on fish populations and ecosystems alike. Modern fishing gear now allows more intensive fishing in areas of the oceans that were previously inaccessible. Bycatch—the accidental catch of non target species such as sharks, turtles and seabirds is pushing many of them to the brink of extinction. Read more

The blue revolution
Fish and seagrass, Menorca, Spain

Protecting the oceans makes economic sense

Protecting the oceans through marine protected areas can provide higher and more sustained income through tourism and controlled fisheries than continued exploitation. This is the result of IUCN’s new compilation of case studies about the economic benefits of marine protected areas, launched on World Biodiversity Day at the 2nd International Marine Protected Area Congress in Washington, D.C. …   | French | Spanish

22 May 2009 | International news release

Arrecife de coral / Bali, Indonesia

Manage corals - Minimize climate change

A better assesment of the threats to coral reefs along with improved management will give corals a much higher chance of survival in the face of warming oceans, says IUCN’s latest report. …   | French | Spanish

20 May 2009 | International news release