- About GPF
- Global Partnerships Institute
- FLAGSHIP INITIATIVES
One OceanOcean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA) is a partnership of nations and leaders from across disciplines whose mission is to restore and sustain the world’s ocean by securing global and national commitments to establish marine sanctuaries, ensure responsible fishing, and related efforts.
OSA aims to restore and sustain the world’s ocean by securing global and national commitments to establish marine sanctuaries, ensure responsible fishing, and related efforts.
Thus, OSA’s short-term objective is to see a strong and enforceable Ocean SDG approved over the next year. This initial effort will be followed by a scientifically rigorous multi-year program to effectively implement it. If this opportunity is missed, the next occasion to debate these issues at the global level will be 2030, when the damage done may be irreversible. OSA is uniquely positioned to achieve its mission because its leadership includes state actors who can make commitments on behalf of the nations they represent. The window of time to secure a healthy ocean for future generations is short and quickly closing, and support is needed now.
The Alliance Leadership:
- H.E. Ambassador Stuart Beck, Palau’s Ambassador for the Oceans and Seas.
- H.E. Dr. Elliston Rahming, Permanent Representative of Bahamas to the United Nations and Chairman, Save Our Shark Coalition
- Ms. Tulik Beck, Founder, Fund for Sustainable Palau
- Mr. Mark Newhouse, Executive Vice President for Newspapers, Advance Publications and Chairman, Ocean Sanctuary Alliance
- Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Professor and Executive Director, Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, and Board Member, Ocean Sanctuary Alliance
- Mr. Amir Dossal, Founder and Chairman of the Global Partnership Forum and co-founder of the Pearl Initiative.
- Mr. Craig Powell, Delegate, UN General Assembly and Third Secretary, Bahamas Permanent Mission to the U.N.
- Hon. Mr. Tony Debrum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands
- Mr. Montel Williams, Special Envoy, Save Our Shark Coalition
The ocean is in a severe and accelerating crisis, threatening the environment and human well-being. Inadequate governance has allowed increasing overfishing and pollution to bring about a devastating state of affairs.
Through the efforts of the scientific community, environmental activists, NGO’s, and the media, awareness of the fragile state of the ocean is becoming better known, and hundreds of local efforts to improve the marine environment are underway in dozens of countries.
But this is a global problem and it will require a global solution to bring the ocean back from the brink of irreversible decline. International collective action starting at the United Nations (UN) is the most effective way to create such a solution. For the first time, a worldwide effort to stabilize the ocean is under serious consideration at the UN as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), an internationally negotiated list of priorities and objectives to mobilize resources and bring about collective action.
OSA seeks to address overfishing, the most destructive force inflicted upon the ocean. Over 100 marine species are recorded as extinct, primarily due to overfishing. Population declines as high as 90-99% from historic levels have been documented for many species. Industrial fishing empties the ocean of about 100 million tons of fish each year, 40% of which is “by-catch” that is wounded or killed and then wasted, and other marine life including dolphins, whales, and sea turtles are harmed in the process.
Marine protected areas, or sanctuaries, limit the type and/or amount of fishing that can be conducted in designated areas and are essential to restore the ocean. There is data showing the effectiveness of sanctuaries, such as studies that found 200% more large fish species, 840% more large fish, and 1990% more shark mass in sanctuaries than in non-sanctuary environments. In addition to serving as fish replenishment zones, sanctuaries are reservoirs of biodiversity and help maintain the ocean’s resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
At least 50 nations have established sanctuaries, including China, Iceland, Chile, Iran, Egypt, Germany, UK, UAE, Korea, India, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Japan, Russia, and the US. Movements are underway throughout the world to create more of them. OSA believes this widespread commitment to conservation is a strong foundation on which to build a consensus towards a more comprehensive solution.