The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth. It provides the primary source of protein for over one billion people, contains some of the most diverse lifeforms on the planet and is of critical significance from recreational, business and environmental perspectives.
There is an urgent need to protect this important life source, which is under considerable threat from habitat destruction, pollution, species depletion and the adverse impacts of climate change.
Balancing economic activity with the need to protect marine ecosystems is a critical global challenge.
The Minderoo Foundation’s Flourishing Oceans initiative has partnered with leading philanthropic, research, business and government institutions to establish globally impactful interventions on three fronts.
Global experts believe a collapse in ocean health due to overfishing is imminent. This would devastate biodiversity, food security, and the economies of already vulnerable countries. The data collected on global fisheries has increased dramatically in recent years, with new insights into illegal fishing through satellite tracking, and powerful measures of biomass evolving from research into fished species. Minderoo’s Global Fishing Index (GFI) will translate that knowledge into impact, assisting countries and businesses to improve their practices and, ultimately, ocean sustainability.
Establish a measure of sustainable fishing and reduce overfishing by working with leaders in business and politics to drive policy and regulatory change.
The average working life of a plastic bag is 15 minutes but once in the ocean, a single plastic bag can take decades to decompose. About 9 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean each year and the full effects of this are not yet known. What is known is that it disrupts habitat, traps wildlife and is ingested by sea life, causing untold damage to the world’s ocean ecology. The issue of plastics is a global problem that combines the choices of consumers, will of governments, and decisions of retailers and manufacturers, under a single banner. Solving it requires global collaboration.
Significantly reduce the pollution of the oceans from plastics by increasing pressure on governments and corporations to phase out plastic, recovering plastic already in waterways and making garbage and recycling systems available to developing economies.
How can we bring together the best researchers in the world to ensure that fishing, tourism, and our natural biodiversity all have a bright future? Minderoo has invested in a variety of research infrastructure, from an 184-foot ice-class research vessel to a research centre in Australia’s north west, to help aid and accelerate critical research projects. Minderoo has a history of advancing and fostering scholarship through the Forrest Research Foundation, and plans to provide marine scientists the critical tools they need to conduct ocean research and conservation. There’s so much more to do once we realise the dire shape our oceans are in.
Protect and conserve our oceans and provide a platform for high-quality research by establishing world-class research infrastructure available to the global scientific community.