Man-made dangers such as illegal fishing only enhances this problem, with 90 percent of fish stocks having already suffered from some form of over-exploitation.
If damage to the ecosystems continues at this rate, especially with progressive global warming, coral reefs will vanish within 35 years and those dependent on the oceans for food, jobs (tourism), products and/or coastal protection will have to find an alternative. Fast.
David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF-UK, said in a statement online that governments and individuals alike should recognize the oceans' role and value it as "an important business asset that requires sustainable management and investment."
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"Our oceans are a climate regulator and carbon sink, supporting future global economic growth, as well as providing critical goods and services that underpin the well-being of billions of people. But rising temperatures and increased acidification put all this at risk," Nussbaum added.
So what can we do? WWF outlined three targets for 2015, which were to conserve coastal/marine zones by 10 percent (for 2020), avoid additional contribution to climate change and make ocean recovery a key topic at the U.N. Post-2015 Agenda.
"Reviving the Ocean Economy" was a collaborative effort by the WWF along with the Boston Consulting Group and the Global Change Institute; and its lead author was Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, from the institute.