Earlier this month, I had the honor of recognizing former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for his dedicated support of ocean conservation. Mr. Bloomberg was our special guest at Oceana’s annual New York City Gala, hosted by Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, and Susan and David Rockefeller.
On stage, Mr. Bloomberg spoke about the significance of the newly-launched Vibrant Oceans initiative. “More than ever, the oceans are a source of income and food for people around the world,” he said, “so when ocean life is threatened and human life is threatened, we can’t let that happen.” (You can watch a video of Bloomberg’s remarks here.)
The Vibrant Oceans initiative commits $53 million to Oceana, RARE and EKO Asset Management Partners to boost fish populations in Brazil, the Philippines, and Chile, restoring a vital source of income and food for billions of people. This grant is the driving force behind Oceana’s campaign to save the oceans to feed the world. With Bloomberg’s support, we will expand our efforts to two new countries — Brazil and the Philippines — while simultaneously stepping up our current work in Chile. Together, these three countries make up 7 percent of the world’s fisheries by weight.
Our goal is to successfully implement sustainable fisheries management in these three countries. If we succeed, we will demonstrate that the 27 countries that control more than 90 percent of the world’s wild fish catch can do the same thing. Researchers predict that better-managed fisheries could produce 40 percent more seafood, providing 250 million more people a healthy seafood meal each day. Restoring ocean abundance will also increase biodiversity, ensuring that our oceans are brimming with sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales and other ocean creatures.
We are getting ready to launch new campaigns — led and designed by Brazilians, Filipinos and Chileans — and will be reporting back to you with more exciting developments in the months to come. Until then, thank you for your continued support.
For the oceans,
Chief Executive Officer