Save the Ocean: Feed the World

If we save the oceans, they can produce 700 million meals per day, enough to feed our hungry planet, according to a film played by a team from Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation.

The film was part of a forum at Silliman University last September 3, featuring Alexandra Costeau, senior adviser of Oceana and granddaughter of the legendary ocean explorer Jacques Yves Costeau.

In her own right, Ms. Costeau is a story-teller, filmmaker, National Geographic “Emerging Explorer,” and founder and president of Blue Legacy International, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to empower people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time.”

Ms. Costeau said the urgency of ocean conservation has arrived, and the Philippines has an important role, given that it is the center of marine biodiversity in the world.

“The time to save the oceans is now and we need to do it like our lives depend on it, because they do,” she said.

The video by Oceana said that the world’s population is reaching nine billion soon and the ocean is the last refuge to sustain it, but it is now in danger.

“Every day we are taking out so much more than our ocean can reproduce. The spectacular wildlife of the deep is being hunted with military precision which can wreak havoc on the balance of the ocean that has taken hundreds and millions of years to perfect.

“Millions of sharks are finned, billions and tons of seafood are culled and then thrown away. Ocean nurseries that are breeding ground for new life are being destroyed everyday indiscriminately.

“We are sabotaging ourselves and our children’s future, throwing away one of our greatest sources of strength and renewal, draining our world’s oceans of life just when we need them the most to feed our hungry planet.”

However the good news is, the ocean is resilient and it can reproduce life quickly; the tide of destruction can be turned around by focusing on three goals: Stop overfishing, control bycatch, and protect the fish nurseries.

According to Costeau, Oceana also seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world’s marine life, like Philippines.

Dr. Angel Alcala, National Scientist and Silliman professor emeritus, also spoke at the forum and explained that the idea of the “No-Take Marine Protected Area,” pioneered by the Silliman University Marine Laboratory , links marine conservation to the increase in fish biomass for the consumption of the people.

Through regular monitoring using scientific methods, Alcala’s research team has observed that fish catch is greater around protected areas due to the “spill-over effect.”— Sommer J. Buyante, SU Research and Environmental News Service

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