The generous ocean

©Greenpeace/Gavin Newman ©Greenpeace/Gavin Newman
©WWF-Canon/Isaac Vega ©WWF-Canon/Isaac Vega
©WWF-Canon/Mike R.Jackson ©WWF-Canon/Mike R.Jackson

Long regarded as inexhaustible, the ocean is dying. The WWF estimates that 76% of commercialised fish stocks are overexploited or are close to reaching that point. Every year 300 000 marine mammals are trapped. Yet despite it all, “sustainable fishing” is not a myth. It is simply about ensuring that catches do not exceed the limit beyond which resources cannot regenerate. For this, there must be regulations, appropriate catching methods and protected maritime areas.

Fish farming can be useful in meeting demand provided it takes place under controlled conditions, as much for the species which are farmed as for the wild species that inhabit neighbouring waters or for the coastal environment. If well managed and protected, the ocean is rich in resources. It also has potential for pharmaceutical research and new energy sources, in particular wave power.