Protect ocean health and harness the value of the ocean in a sustainable way
Covering over 70 percent of our planet, the ocean supports global food security and livelihoods, regulates the global climate, and produces half of the oxygen we breathe. Every land-based activity arguably relies, at some stage and in some capacity, on services provided by the ocean.
However, current pressures on the ocean’s health pose great risks to our economies, our societies, and the environment.
of Earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, an increasingly critical source of both renewable and non-renewable resources
in goods and services each year is generated by the ocean
people benefit from food, jobs, and livelihoods that the ocean provides
of carbon dioxide emissions have been absorbed by the ocean
To halt and reverse the ocean’s decline, companies that have widespread environmental footprints on marine ecosystems and fisheries have a key role to play. By directly engaging ocean industries such as the seafood sector in setting science-based targets for nature, SBTN provides those industries an opportunity to reduce their pressures from ocean-related activities and implement sustainable practices with far-reaching environmental benefits.
A science-based approach is needed to inform targets and incentivize action for companies. Through science-based targets for nature, companies can contribute, proportionately and holistically, to building resilience in ocean ecosystems and coastal communities, ensuring the ocean’s health is regenerated.
In late 2022, the Ocean Hub received funding to embark upon a 2-year plan to deliver the first seafood value chain science-based targets. Co-led by WWF and Conservation International, the hub comprises a range of experts, bringing their expertise on fisheries, aquaculture, markets, and social impacts to focus first on shaping SBTs for seafood value chains.
Existing frameworks provide an opportunity for SBTN Ocean Hub’s seafood value chain workstream to draw on the best available work to make quick progress toward a science-based target methodology, bringing a much-needed synthesis of available and emerging science to the conversation.
A Steering Committee is in place, with representatives from The Nature Conservancy, FishWise, the Marine Stewardship Council, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and UNEP FI on board to help work toward setting science-based targets for the ocean.
The work of the Ocean Hub is currently focused on the seafood value chain, working with the Committee and other experts to support the technical work of target development.
Future work for the Ocean will expand into other sectors that exert key pressures on the ocean such as habitat damage, pollution, endangered, threatened, protected and vulnerable species impacts, and more.