Food & Recreation
One in two people live within 60 kilometers of the coast.Take Action ↓
The sun has barely risen and you’re already on the water. All signs of the shore have sunk below the horizon when you feel a slight tug on the line. Time evaporates as you lose yourself in the purr of your winding reel. Your breath catches. The possibilities at the end of that nylon thread are limitless— a world record catch, an undiscovered species, a derelict tire —it’s all possible.
Your kitchen is brimming with the aroma of the catch of the day (maybe picked up from the grocery store? No one knows but you). The recipe was your mother’s, but you’ve added your own special twist— a new family favorite. Sitting around the table at last, you dig into the dish as you’re regaled with everyone’s daily adventures and tall tales. For some this is a great way to spend the day, for many more, it’s a way of life.
Today, one in two people live within 60 kilometers of the coast, and at least one billion people in developing countries depend on seafood for their daily source of protein. Unfortunately, it is exactly these same countries, which depend so heavily on the ocean and all of its remarkable goods and services, that are experiencing the brunt of its degradation. The more the world’s waters are exploited and degraded at the hand of man, the more it is apparent that the ocean’s fate is intertwined with that of mankind— that the fulfillment of fundamental human rights is dependent upon the continued health of the waters that bind all things.
“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.”Henry David Thoreau
So vast and so powerful, the ocean seemed to exist out of the realm of human control or influence. Historically, people felt they could never take too many natural resources out of, or put too much waste into, the world’s ocean. This centuries-old belief is undermined by increasing evidence that human activities have taken a devastating toll on the health of the very waters they depend on. A combination of the sheer number of people who use and depend on the ocean and the innumerable unsustainable practices people have and continue to adopt has bred a plethora of problems that plague the ocean on a global scale. Overfishing, pollution, climate change, habitat loss, and ocean acidification stress the world’s ocean systems.
The future of seafood and ocean recreation is not just about passing down family traditions and ensuring that the next generations are able to have the same fun. When it comes to defending our blue planet, we have to think of right now, of the billions of lives who depend on the ocean to survive.