Ocean's Past

Marine Conservation Institute works to study our ocean’s past so that we can better plan and prepare for our ocean’s future.

Life in the oceans is essential to life on Earth. Living oceans provide a sixth of the animal protein people eat, moderate our climate, and generate half of the oxygen we breathe.

But our oceans are in trouble.

Once teaming with fish, oceans are being emptied faster than life can recover. Many marine ecosystems around the world have been damaged beyond repair. Over 90% of the big fish are gone. Fossil fuel use is making oceans more acidic. Millions of tons of discarded trash are killing sea turtles, seabirds and seals.

We are adapting to the ‘new normal’ while forgetting what bountiful oceans we once had. Each generation has a new definition of what the oceans should be. Only by studying our ocean’s past can we learn what an ecosystem can and should be. This information can then be used to inform ocean management so we can establish appropriate baselines and goals for success.