Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview Of Ocean Threats And Conservation Funding

2017-06-08T10:56:59+00:00 June 8, 2017|

Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation  Funding is a guide of the primary ocean threats and trends to help funders, advocates, and governments make better, faster, and more informed decisions. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation commissioned California Environmental Associates to develop the guide for the increasing number of philanthropists and aid agencies that have risen to the challenges facing our ocean.

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s President and CEO, RADM Jonathan White (ret.) contributed a piece to the report titled, The Global Ocean In The Context Of National Security.

(The Global Ocean In the Context of National Security from Our Shared Seas / by RADM Jonathan White (ret.)) — It’s not an exaggeration to say that the fate of life on our planet is inextricably tied to the fate of our ocean. The ocean is critical to our well-being, and to keep this precious resource healthy and productive, we must first understand it—its physical and chemical processes, the stressors it responds to, its complex ecosystems, and the interactions with the life it supports. This understanding is even more important because the ocean is changing in many ways not seen before in human history, which presents new challenges and opportunities to our nation as well as to our neighbors around the globe. The key to this understanding—which will lead to appropriate, evidence-based action to ensure our ocean’s health (and therefore our survival)—is ocean science.

From my 32 years as an active duty in the Navy (which culminated in my three-year appointment as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy), I can unequivocally tell you that ocean science has provided our nation with a tangible military advantage on, under, and above the sea for decades. In my current role as president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, I can, equally unequivocally, tell you that the value of ocean science extends beyond the scientific and Naval communities, playing a role in our security at all levels—national, homeland, food, and economic.

Investments in ocean science are of paramount importance given the ongoing, unprecedented change to our Earth system, especially now, when global population growth, particularly in coastal areas, stresses our ocean environment more and more every day. Unfortunately, these changes are happening at a time of increasing uncertainty regarding federal investment in ocean science. To advance our ocean knowledge that will enable necessary actions, we must use all available resources and reinvigorate public-private relationships and ventures. I believe there is much the philanthropic, NGO, and industry sectors can do (in collaboration with federal agencies, both in the United States and abroad) to ensure we grow, rather than lapse, our knowledge of the ocean. 

One area where the philanthropic, NGO, and industry sectors can have a significant impact is IUU fishing, which has far-reaching security, human rights, and management implications. IUU fishing occurs when pirate fishers catch fish in violation of national laws or international agreements and treaties. There are clear links between IUU fishing and other transnational criminal activity, specifically human, drug, and arms trafficking; smuggling; and terrorism. Rescued slave laborers report horrific conditions, including beheadings, shootings, and tossing of sick shipmates overboard. Of 50 former slaves interviewed, 29 reported seeing another trafficked worker killed. Do you think this sad story merely affects a far corner of the globe, and do you imagine you can’t do anything about it? Well, you’d be wrong on both counts.

Read the rest of RADM White’s piece here: https://medium.com/@OurSharedSeas/the-global-ocean-in-the-context-of-national-security-fb206a3c5c79

Read the full report here: https://www.packard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Our-Shared-Seas.pdf