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The Monterey Bay Aquarium is voice for the sea at the first-ever United Nations Ocean Conference.

Monterey Bay Aquarium 'Voice for the Ocean' at U.N. Ocean Conference

  (UNITED STATES, 6/6/2017)

The ocean produces half the oxygen we breathe, regulates climate by absorbing atmospheric carbon, and is the primary source of protein for 3.5 billion people. These and other critical benefits are fast eroding as growing human needs strain the ocean's living systems as never before.

From yesterday until June 9, the United Nations is hosting its first-ever Ocean Conference in New York City, a global gathering focused on protecting ocean resources essential to human survival. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is taking a significant role, advocating for global action to reduce ocean plastic pollution, new commitments to promote sustainable fisheries, and action plans to tackle ocean acidification and other impacts of climate change.

UN Secretary-General opens Ocean Conference, calling on countries to set aside short-term gain to avoid catastrophe.

The ocean plays a vital role in enabling life on Earth to exist, yet ocean health has been ignored for too long by international decision-makers," said Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. "The U.N. Ocean Conference is a signal that things are changing. We'll be there as a voice for the living ocean on which our future depends."

Critical issues, include:

Julie Packard.

Advancing sustainable global fisheries: Through its Seafood Watch program and international policy work, the aquarium plays a respected and influential role in shifting seafood production in more sustainable directions. Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of global fisheries and aquaculture, will speak at a marquee event – a U.N. Partnership Dialogue on Wednesday, June 7 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) on "Making fisheries sustainable". Other speakers will represent the World Trade Organization and the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization.

On Monday Julie Packard was part of a World Economic Forum announcement and discussion about new commitments to end illegal, unregulated and unreported tuna fishing and,  Aimee David, aquarium director of ocean conservation policy strategies, addressed efforts to tackle marine debris internationally and nationally.

The Ocean Conference focuses attention on ocean pollution, overfishing and climate impacts. (Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The aquarium was an early supporter of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, and will join the founding partners – British Columbia, and the states of CaliforniaOregon and Washington – at an event on Thursday, June 8 (3-4:30 p.m.). Margaret Spring, aquarium vice president for conservation and science, and chief conservation officer, will address action plans to protect vulnerable resources.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that's caught or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean, now and for future generations. (Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The aquarium championed California's first-in-the-nation state-wide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags, and this summer launches a collaborative campaign involving 19 leading U.S. aquariums to reduce consumer demand for single-use plastic products – from drinking straws to shopping bags.

About the MontereyBay Aquarium

The mission of the non-profit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. It works globally to advance policies that address climate change, protect vulnerable ocean species and ecosystems, reduce ocean plastic pollution, and promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

 The Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium

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