Defying Ocean's End

Defying Ocean's End was inspired by an urgent need – to address the sharp decline in ocean wildlife, the disturbing increase in ocean pollution and the neglect of policies and resources to solve these problems. In May/June 2003 an invited team of international ocean scientists, economists, lawyers and conservationists – and representatives from governments, corporations and the media – gathered in Los Cabos, Mexico to build a global action plan for ocean conservation. A business team assisted the experts in identifying near-term priorities and costs.



This book is the result. It focuses on the seven key fields of action identified at that meeting:


  • Ocean-use planning and marine protected areas
  • Economic incentives and disincentives
  • Land-ocean interface
  • Maintaining and restoring functional marine ecosystems
  • Communications
  • Ocean governance
  • Unknown ocean




Since the Defying Ocean's End Conference, a coalition of major conservation NGOs – including Conservation International, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, The Ocean Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund and the IUCN – The World Conservation Union – have begun working together to put the agenda into concerted action.



Defying Ocean's End is a guide for all who care about the future of the ocean.



Our collective challenge is nothing less than the creation of a framework and steps for a practical agenda of global action – including costs and impacts – to safeguard the ocean for generations to come.

  - Sylvia A. Earle (from the Preface)

Defying Ocean's End can be purchased from Island Press.

Order the book now from the Island Press website


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  IUCN; The Nature Conservancy; World Wildlife Fund; Natural Resource Defense Council; Ocean Conservancy   Ocean; Marine Protected Area; Socioeconomics; Ecosystems