We owe our existence to the ocean. Yet most of us have turned our backs on it. A recent Canadian study of the world's fisheries, published in the magazine Nature, revealed that 90 percent of each of the world's largest predatory fish species have disappeared, largely the result of unsustainable fishing. Moreover, destructive fishing, pollution, deforestation and global warming are wiping out coral reefs, mangroves and other rich marine habitats at a frightening pace.
At a first of its kind conference, called Defying Ocean's End (DOE), a diverse group of partners began to address these issues. Emerging from the conference was a science-based initiative to protect all ocean life. In this Frontlines feature, renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle explores the ocean crisis and introduces the DOE action agenda.
It also looks at conservation projects already being undertaken by CI and its partners. DOE participants included leaders from CI, Environmental Defense, International Seakeepers Society, IUCN-World Conservation Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Futures Society, Seaweb, The Nature Conservancy, The Ocean Conservancy, Wildaid, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund, as well as government, industry and academia. DOE was sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, BP, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the Henry Foundation and an anonymous donor.