2.6 Billion people around the world rely on the ocean for their primary source of protein. Fishing and shellfish harvesting for sustenance or ceremonial purposes is critical for tribal, First Nation and indigenous communities across the world. Fish provide 50–90% of animal protein in the diet of coastal communities across a broad spectrum of Pacific islands.
By 2030, the ocean economy is expected to reach US $3 trillion and employ 40 million people. With global population on the rise, fisheries and aquaculture offer enormous potential to help address a number of our sustainability challenges we will face in the coming decades.
However, projections from the IPCC show significant changes in the ocean over the coming century. Under high emissions scenarios, negative impacts by 2090 are substantially larger and more widespread than for a low emissions scenario. Ocean warming, acidification, oxygen loss, decreased productivity and loss of key ecosystems services will impact human well-being, sustainable development and food security.
Governments at every level, along with impacted industries and communities are helping to assess social, economic and cultural vulnerabilities. They are also working to promote solutions that increase biodiversity, adaptive capacity and resiliency of coastal resources.
Internationally, entities and frameworks like the FAO, IAEA and UN Sustainable Development Goals are also working to scale the science and suite of actions that will help build a sustainable blue economy over the next several decades.