New Report Finds Oceans In Peril, Need For Action Is Now

June 2, 2003

(2 June 2003 — Washington, DC)  A new report due out this week from the Pew Oceans Commission finds that the world’s oceans are in peril from pollution, overfishing, global warming and a lack of international cooperation needed to address complex problems plaguing the marine ecosystem.  Despite its focus on the poor health of the ocean, the report is optimistic.  It concludes that action can still protect and restore marine animal and plant life and promote better management of the oceans.  Environmental Defense supports the findings of the commission and is currently working to promote the majority of the policies and practices set forth in the commission’s findings.

“The Pew report leaves no doubt that the world’s oceans are in peril, but it also points to solutions that can reverse this downward spiral,” said David Festa, director of the Environmental Defense Oceans program and former director of policy at the Department of Commerce under the Clinton administration.  “Meeting this challenge calls for a fundamental shift in our stewardship of the oceans.  Compiled by an independent, non-partisan commission including Dr. Jane Lubchenco, an Environmental Defense trustee, the report outlines the steps necessary for responsible management of ocean life.  We also look forward to the upcoming report from a Congressionally chartered commission on ocean policy, which will require that action be taken once its findings are released.”  

To read more about the Commission’s findings or to download a report, visit the Pew Oceans Commission’s web site (