From the heat of the equator to the North and South poles, the ocean binds the planet together, supporting communities, maritime industries, and most life on Earth.

Covering more than 70 percent of the planet, the ocean regulates the weather, produces 70 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere, and is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s known species—and many that still await discovery.

But the marine ecosystem is ailing because of problems that include overfishing, plastic pollution, climate change, ocean acidification, and marine debris.

Studies consistently show that large, fully protected marine reserves protect biodiversity, safeguard traditional cultures closely linked to the sea, and allow plant and animal species to recover, all of which benefit areas far beyond the boundaries of the protected areas.

But less than 4 percent of the world’s ocean is covered by strong safeguards, far short of the 30 percent recommended by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation have partnered to increase the number of fully protected parks in the sea from nine to 15 by 2022, which will help restore our ocean’s health to the benefit of all life on Earth.

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Coral
Coral
Press Releases & Statements

New Caledonia Commits to Protecting More of Its Coral Sea Natural Park

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Press Releases & Statements

President Philippe Germain of New Caledonia committed today to protecting 200,000 to 400,000 square kilometers (77,220 to 154,440 square miles) of marine waters within the Coral Sea Natural Park, which the government established in 2014

Ocean Stewardship 1
Ocean Stewardship 1
Fact Sheet

Island Communities Cultivate Ocean Stewardship

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Fact Sheet

Island communities around the world have strong ties to the ocean. The seas connect people to families and neighbors, provide sustenance, drive economies, and inspire art and cultural values.

Islands
Islands
Fact Sheet

The Case for Marine Protected Areas

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Fact Sheet

Ocean health is critical to all life on this planet. Phytoplankton, the microscopic plants found in the sunlit area of almost all oceans, generate about half of the Earth’s oxygen, and the complex interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere sustains our climate.

Fish school
Fish school
Fact Sheet

The Push to Safeguard 30% of the Ocean

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Fact Sheet

In 2016, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for protecting at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 through a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective conservation measures.

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Podcast

Our Blue Planet–Protecting the Ocean

Episode 6

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Podcast

Three-quarters of our planet is covered with water—and it’s this water that sustains life. But our liquid planet, home to half of the world’s known creatures and plants, is facing multiple threats, such as overfishing and commercial development. That’s why leading scientists say that 30 percent of our oceans should be protected. Host Dan LeDuc explores why this 30 percent data point is important with two people committed to safeguarding the oceans: native Hawaiian Sol Kaho’ohalahala, whose culture and livelihood depend on sustainable seas; and Matt Rand, who directs the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project and has been working with people like Kaho’ohalahala since 2006 to keep our oceans healthy.