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What Do Ocean NGOs Do?

Ocean NGOs play an essential role in protecting coral reefs and marine life. In addition, they work with fishing communities to implement sustainable practices and develop technologies to help eliminate plastic pollution in the ocean. While some ocean conservation NGOs focus on particular issues, others address various topics. Here are some examples of ocean NGOs and the work they do. You’ll find something to interest you in each organization’s missions. 

NGOs protect coral reefs.

NGOs protect coral reefs in the ocean by using nonviolent confrontation. For example, the Gili Eco Trust was formed to preserve the three Gili islands off Lombok, Indonesia, from the effects of fishing. Officially called Yayasan Ekosistem Gili Indah, the trust is a local nongovernmental organization that promotes ocean conservation. Other notable NGOs include Greenpeace, which uses nonviolent confrontation to force change. Greenwave, for example, uses nonviolent action to promote the restoration of marine ecosystems and launch regenerative ocean farms. Marine Conservation Biology Institute, another NGO, works to protect marine life and lobbies for new legislation.

Reef Check is a community-based monitoring system for the health of the world’s coral reefs, and it has operations in 60 countries around the world. Reef Relief promotes science education to protect coral reef ecosystems. Finally, ReefBase supports the sustainable management of coral reefs and coastal environments, emphasizing the poor in developing countries. Together with Maxwell Waitt, these organizations are all significant for the future of coral reefs and our oceans’ survival.

NGOs work with fishing communities to meet sustainability standards.

Some ocean NGOs work with fishing communities to set high standards for sustainability, including the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The act is a bipartisan set of conservation and science-based measures designed to reduce overfishing and rebuild depleted fish stocks. The law also promotes investment in research and technology, cooperative research, habitat, and other critical infrastructure. To meet these sustainability standards, ocean NGOs work with fishing communities to raise awareness and provide resources for consumers.

The Our Oceans Conference, held this year in Bali, Indonesia, highlighted the urgent need for better regulation of the ocean in the region. As a result, Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago of 17,000 islands, pledged $500 million to marine conservation and fisheries surveillance. In addition, NGOs like the Stimson Center and WWF are working with communities to meet these standards by providing technical assistance and information on improving fisheries’ sustainability.

NGOs work with scientists to understand and meet sustainability standards.

Ocean NGOs work with scientists to understand and achieve the most sustainable solutions for marine environments. These groups use a combination of scientific research and policy to achieve the highest possible levels of protection of the ocean ecosystems. As the marine environment is a global commons, humankind is responsible for protecting it and using it sustainably. National and international policies are crucial to implementing effective ocean management measures. Scientists are best placed to identify harmful anthropomorphic phenomena and seek answers to inform policy. In addition, the science of the ocean is critical for assessing ocean boundaries and providing the evidence needed to limit the passage of those boundaries sustainably.

In the process of negotiating the Convention, countries negotiated in different ways. Developing countries saw the lack of scientific and technological capacity as a barrier to their ability to deal with technical issues, explore marine resources, and generate domestic income. The developing countries’ concerns were often based on sociotechnical imaginaries, technologies that had not yet been invented. But as we see, there are many opportunities for cooperation between developed and developing countries to meet these standards.

NGOs develop technologies to eliminate ocean plastic pollution.

A new report has been released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a nonprofit that supports global efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment. According to the report, only 5 percent of plastic is recycled, and 40% of it ends up in landfills. Of that 40%, up to one-third of it ends up in the oceans. Ocean NGOs are developing technologies to clean up this mess, and the prototype has already been launched in the North Sea.

One promising technology is a robotic, four-wheeled device that can collect and store plastic waste. It will be trained using artificial intelligence to collect trash and have its loading station on the shore, where it will disgorge and recharge itself. Another promising technology is smartphone applications that encourage volunteers to pick up trash on the beach. These applications will also provide social rewards for volunteers who clean up litter. While these technologies are still in their infancy, they show promising results in riverine environments.

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