Environmental Initiatives

Nearly three-fourths of our Earth’s surface is ocean, yet less than 1 percent is fully protected from extractive or destructive activities. Like national parks on land, marine reserves protect and conserve species and habitats for future generations. And because there are no clear borders at sea, the life that thrives within them "spills over" into surrounding areas. 

Reserves help restore marine life in areas that have already been depleted, build resilience to threats like climate change and, because these areas are left alone, provide an insurance policy for healthy oceans for our future.

From the Arctic Ocean, where rising temperatures are rapidly melting ice pack, and industrial fishing and other extractive activities are imposing upon the biodiversity of this fragile region, to coastal areas, coral reefs, deep ocean trenches and the abundant waters of Antarctica, Pew works to protect some of our great ocean habitats.

Encouraging sound ocean policy through the best available science, we continue efforts to create large-scale marine reserves to conserve these areas for future generations.


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Habitat Protection

  • Scientists Confirm Pacific Bluefin Tuna Is on the Brink

    The latest scientific assessment of Pacific bluefin tuna is out, and it confirms that this overexploited, highly valued resource has been ravaged by rampant overfishing. More

  • Sea Life in New South Wales at Risk

    A controversial plan by the New South Wales government to allow recreational fishing in marine sanctuary areas could undermine decades of progress that protected the state’s most important underwater areas and unique species, and provided well-documented economic benefits.More

  • Pew Comments on Offshore Angler Permit Proposal

    On behalf of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Chad W. Hanson, Officer of the U.S. Oceans Southeast, submitted comments to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regarding the proposed Gulf Offshore Recreational Fishing Permit (offshore permit). More

  • Pew Praises Ratification of Treaty to Fight Illegal Fishing Worldwide

    The United States Senate on April 3 took a strong stand in the global fight against illegal fishing by ratifying a treaty that will prevent illegally caught fish from entering the market through ports around the world. The treaty, called the Port State Measures Agreement, or PSMA, also would empower port officials to prohibit foreign vessels that are suspected of illegal activity from receiving port services and access. By cutting off market access for illegally caught fish, the treaty will erode the profit incentive that drives the activity.More

  • Protecting the High Seas From Peril

    All the activity in the open ocean raises questions about who is monitoring and managing the ocean’s long-term health. As of now, the job is vacant, which is why delegates from around the world are at the United Nations in New York City this week.More

  • Climate Change Taking Toll on the Ocean

    A United Nations panel released its latest assessment of the impact of climate change on the world’s environment, focusing on issues such as food supply and economic security.More

  • EU Bans Fish Imports from 3 Countries

    Today the Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and WWF welcome a decision by the European Union Fisheries Council, comprising all 28 fisheries ministers, to ban the importation of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for their failure to cooperate in fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated, or IUU, fishing.More

  • Exxon Valdez Spill, 25 Years Later

    Just before midnight March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Alaska, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history to that point. In the weeks that followed, a shocked world watched as the tanker spewed approximately 11 million gallons of oil into the formerly pristine and delicate Prince William Sound. More

  • Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

    Ensuring the long-term health of important marine species will depend upon our ability to understand and account for the interactions among those species, their environment, and the people who rely upon them for food, commerce, and sport.More

  • Protecting New England's Marine Ecosystem: Habitat at Risk

    Some areas of New England’s waters have been closed to various types of fishing gear for decades in order to encourage the return of healthy populations of important groundfish (such as cod, haddock, and flounder), but the region does not have a plan for habitat management, as required by federal law.More

  • Pew le otorga al científico Hoyt Peckham la beca de investigación 2014 en conservación de recursos marinos

    El Dr. Hoyt Peckham, un pionero en la incentivación de la pesca artesanal para promover el manejo de los recursos marinos con sede en La Paz, México, ha recibido una beca de investigación Pew 2014 en la conservación de dichos recursos marinos para ampliar su trabajo en la incentivación de la pesca sostenible a lo largo de la costa del noroeste de México a otras comunidades de la región y a nivel mundial. Peckham está trabajando con los pescadores locales y sus cooperativas para restablecer el valor de sus pesquerías, reforzando sus prácticas de sostenibilidad mediante el aumento de la demanda de sus mariscos y sus pescados.More

  • On the Front Lines: Pew Names 5 New Marine Conservation Fellows for 2014

    Five distinguished scientists and conservationists based in Malaysia, Chile, Mexico, and the United States are this year’s recipients of the Pew fellowship in marine conservation.More

  • Pew Awards Author Paul Greenberg the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Paul Greenberg—an award-winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food—has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation to prepare a book focusing on the human demand for Omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood and its impact on the sustainability of the world’s oceans.More

  • Pew le otorga al científico chileno Stefan Gelcich la beca de investigación 2014 en conservación de recursos marinos

    Se ha reconocido al Dr. Stefan Gelcich, profesor adjunto de la Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile con una beca de investigación Pew 2014 para la conservación de recursos marinos en un nuevo proyecto que examinará los incentivos sociales, económicos y ecológicos que permitan desarrollar zonas de protección, en conjunto con pescadores artesanales, a lo largo de la costa chilena. Este científico estudiará la integración de áreas marinas protegidas y pesquerías con derechos de uso territorial, como una estrategia para la conservación a largo plazo de los recursos oceánicos y su sostenibilidad. More

  • Pew Awards Shark Scientist Demian Chapman the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Demian Chapman, Ph.D., a scientist with Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation for a new research project to determine how recently enacted international regulations affect the trade in the fins of protected shark species. Sharks have been heavily fished to supply the international fin trade, depriving marine ecosystems of some of their most important top predators and endangering species dependent on them. More


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