Oceans, it all starts here: 10 reasons to defend our blue heritage
25, May 2023
Life on our planet begins with the oceans, and for this reason they must be respected and protected through everyday choices: this is the message of the Marine Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization that promotes ocean health through its sustainable fishing programme, for World Oceans Day 2023.
The oceans cover two-thirds of the planet, supply the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, contain an immense biodiversity that is mostly still unexplored and perform an indispensable function of regulating the climate. All aspects that are based on a fundamental assumption: that they are healthy, and the ecosystems and resources they contain are in balance with each other. A balance which today is endangered by pollution, climate change and overfishing, and which must be safeguarded through sustainable choices at all decision-making levels – consumers, companies, fishing activities and institutions.
“We want to draw everyone's attention to the oceans, because life on the planet is intrinsically linked to them and because they not only play a fundamental role at an environmental level, but can also play a crucial role in the challenge of guaranteeing global food security. ” explains Francesca Oppia, Director of the MSC Program in Italy. “The United Nations estimates that food systems must increase their productivity by 70% to meet population growth that will exceed 9 billion people in 2050. In this scenario, sustainable fisheries management can provide proteins and nutrients to the millions of people who today suffer from nutritional deficiencies or food insecurity. For this reason it is necessary that everyone, from fishermen to food companies, from consumers to national and local governments, put the protection of the oceans at the top of their list of priorities.
According to the United Nations, foods from aquatic systems, called Blue Foods (animals, plants and algae fished or grown in marine or freshwater environments) are fundamental allies in tackling the challenge of global food security. According to research by Costello et al. (2016), if all fisheries were well managed, they would be able to produce 16 million additional fish catches each year, which would alleviate the widespread shortage of key nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
10 reasons to protect marine products:
1 - Sea products are very rich in nutrients
2 - Sea products have a lower environmental impact
3 - Fish consumption in Italy is higher than the European average
4 - There are thousands of different species to try
5 - Fish is an important source of subsistence
6 - The demand for fish will double by 2050
7 - Fishing better means fishing more
8 - People have been eating fish for almost 2 million years
9 - Fish is an important part of cultural and religious tradition