2019 in review: Charting course for a healthier ocean

© Alex Sher

Nature saw its ups and downs in 2019, and Conservation News was there for it all. This month, we are revisiting some of the most interesting and significant stories and issues we covered in the past year. 

Foreboding reports and unsettling headlines sounded a single refrain in 2019: Climate change is wreaking havoc on the world’s oceans. Here are some of our most-read stories from 2019 about the global effort to secure a better future for the waters we all rely on.

Unprecedented sea level rise and dangerous marine heatwaves caused by climate change are among a list of grim impacts predicted by a major UN ocean report released earlier this year. If countries deeply cut their emissions this century, then we can prevent the most severe consequences of climate breakdown on the world’s oceans — and the people that rely on them.

Read more here.

Seafood has a dark secret: For years, the multibillion-dollar industry has been fueled, at least in part, by slavery. This Conservation International scientist is a driving force in the global effort to turn the tide of abuse in the sector — while keeping the world’s oceans (and all those fish) thriving. 

Read more here.

The ocean is heating up as the climate breaks down — and tuna are following the warming waters. The shift of tuna populations could be catastrophic for the Pacific island nations that rely on this fish for their economies and diets.  These findings could have major implications for coastal communities — and for your lunch. 

Read more here

Communities in the remote Pacific island of Timor-Leste are stitching together a patchwork of protected areas aimed at conserving their most precious resource: reefs. Conservation News spoke with the head of Conservation International Timor-Leste to explore how local communities in this small nation are building their livelihoods around conservation.

Read more here

Kiley Price is a staff writer at Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates here. Donate to Conservation International here.

Cover image: A fisherman paddling through the Indian Ocean, Philippines. (© Alex Sher)