Deteriorated plastic waste has invaded our waterways, our oceans and our bodies. Can it be reversed? Are we even trying?

Plastic pollution and juvenile fish. Credit: Naja Bertolt Jensen ( @naja_bertolt_jensen ) on Unsplash

Many are certain that it is not because it does not have the same essential nutrients as food, while other maintain that it is. Is water food? We say it is — food for the soul.

Conservation efforts including the Hamilton Declaration and the formation of the Sargasso Sea Commission are working toward the establishment of an International Marine Protected Area

The Sargasso Sea is a verdant, vital ecosystem that supports a great diversity of life, provides shelter for marine mammals — while also serving as a repository for much of the spoils of human endeavor: shipping, fishing, harvesting, and pollution.

Are we turning the world into a xenobiotic dump?

Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, carcinogens, drugs, food additives, hydrocarbons, plastics, pesticides — all manner of human-driven interventions that are infiltrating the earth. Are we turning the world into a xenobiotic dump? Is there another way?

The final declaration of the climate pact post-COP26 finally acknowledges the ocean as the intangible link between climate and biodiversity. Is it too little, too late?

image credit: COP26: 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference

“Climate is the ocean; the ocean is climate; and for that meaning not to be at the center of an international strategy for our future may be the reason we are not getting anywhere with requisite urgency and success.”

New systems thinking offers alternatives to failing structures and behaviors. As food, energy and water are the three aspects most relevant to our future survival, we must examine the innovations that pertain to each: aquaculture, renewable energy and desalination — to create an integrated, self-supporting new system toward a sustainable future.

Principles to sustain the value of the ocean now and for the future

How do we govern and manage the ocean inside and outside of national jurisdiction in order to use it responsibly and assure its long-term potential? How do we collectively affirm the transformational change required to meet the conditions and challenges we face worldwide?

What we do to re-establish the natural systems that clean and protect us?

back·wash

A series exploring specific initiatives, novel technologies and other advancements to improve efficiency and safety of aquaculture as a positive contribution to out future food supply and global health

Artistic rendering of an unmanned offshore fish farm facility currently under development in Trondheim, Norway. © SINTEF

A series exploring specific initiatives, novel technologies and other advancements to improve efficiency and safety of aquaculture as a positive contribution to out future food supply and global health

World Ocean Observatory

Dedicated to sharing information about ocean issues: climate to trade, culture to governance. The sea connects all things. Online at WorldOceanObservatory.org.

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