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Aerial view, Bora Bora. 

Pacific Oceanscape

Spanning an area four times the size of the United States, the Pacific Oceanscape is enormously important to all our lives.

© Rodolphe Holler

 

 

Pacific Oceanscape Priority Map
© Conservation International

Some 23 Pacific island nations and territories have come together to create the Pacific Oceanscape, a framework to conserve and sustainably manage this vast, shared region of islands and ocean for generations to come.

This commitment represents a sea change in ocean conservation — one that will help provide food and livelihoods for people in the region and around the world.

 

Why is the Pacific Oceanscape important?

Food we eat

The Pacific Oceanscape is home to the world’s largest remaining healthy stocks of tuna. In fact, the region’s proportion of the global tuna catch is valued at more than US$ 2.4 billion. The area is also home to other species — including coral reef fish, seaweeds and shellfish — that are vital sources of food for islanders.

Climate stability

Oceans store the majority of the carbon on Earth, which gives them a critical role in regulating the global climate. In fact, the Pacific Oceanscape is home to mangroves, seagrasses and salt marsh habitats that are among the most efficient carbon sinks on the planet.

Jobs and prosperity

In the Pacific Oceanscape, a vast majority of the population lives within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the coast — and their livelihoods depend on the sea. The tuna industry alone provides more than 13,000 jobs to Pacific Islanders and contributes US$ 260 million to the region’s economy.

Joy and inspiration

Serenity. Beauty. Delight. The area covered by the Pacific Oceanscape can bring us these gifts. It boasts recreational activities ranging from fishing and diving to whale watching, boating and more. The region is also home to iconic marine life, such as whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks and seabirds that have cultural and economic value around the world.

What are the issues?

75% of fisheries unable to meet needs

Overfishing

Overfishing is increasingly a threat. Projections indicate that bigeye tuna stocks will soon be overexploited, and there are increasing calls for restricting the fishing of other tuna species. If business continues as usual, as many as 75% of the region’s coastal fisheries could be unable to meet local food needs by 2030.

30% of carbon absorbed by oceans

Ocean acidification

The sea absorbs 30% of the planet’s carbon. As CO2 levels in the atmosphere rise due to human activity, the ocean becomes more acidic, causing some coral reefs to die. Their damage and loss, from both sea level rise and ocean acidification, threaten all island nations in the region.

Our solutions

The Pacific Oceanscape has brought together 23 countries and territories to protect, manage and sustain the Pacific Ocean’s cultural and natural integrity. Comprised of what many consider to be tiny island nations with modest terrestrial areas, these nations have responsibility for 10% of the world’s total ocean surface — an area four times the size of the United States. These are economically important waters, harboring the world’s largest remaining stocks of tuna and providing nearly half of the world’s tuna catch.

Conservation International works hand in hand with communities and governments across the Pacific Oceanscape to conserve the critical habitats in the region, including islands, coasts and the open ocean. And we recognize that everyone, from village leaders to heads of state, governments to corporations, residents and those far away, all have a stake in protecting this critical area.

 

What can you do?

Your gift helps us create innovative tools and partnerships like the Pacific Oceanscape that help protect the parts of nature humanity can’t live without.

You can also help if you...

Watch

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© CI/Sterling Zumbrunn

Eat sustainable food

You can help keep fish in the ocean by only eating seafood that’s been sustainably sourced.

© Chris Dascher
© Island Effects

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