CONTENTS

FISH – ALMOST OUT OF STOCK?

Fish is a cornerstone of global food security. It is the world’s most traded natural product. But this global dependence on fish is actually the greatest threat to our fish populations. Many are overfished, and the number is rising.

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ARE FISH FARMS THE FUTURE?

Aquaculture is booming—in 2014 nearly every second fish consumed by people came from a fish farm. The ecological and social problems caused by this aquatic stockbreeding are immense.

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FERTILIZER FOR THE DEAD ZONES

Each summer, a 20,000-square-kilometer dead zone forms in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mississippi Delta. Hardly anything lives there now. But the cause of the lifeless water lies not in the gulf itself but on dry land, 2,000 kilometers upriver.

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TRASH IN THE SURF, POISON IN THE SEA

The mounds of garbage on some coasts pose clearly visible problems. Other types of pollution are less visible—but every bit as serious.

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THE MICROPLASTIC PROBLEM

Beaches littered with plastic garbage, seabirds strangled by bits of plastic—these images are ubiquitous today. Yet we also see photos of people cleaning beaches and hear about plans for purifying the ocean. Are things actually improving?

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THE DANGER OF DECLINING DIVERSITY

Gourmets visiting Sylt, Germany’s idyllic North Sea vacation destination, can choose between fresh Pacific oysters and native blue mussels. But what seems like fine dining is actually a cautionary tale as the foreign oysters threaten to overrun the native mussels.

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HOW THE OCEAN SLOWS CLIMATE CHANGE

Without the ocean, climate change would proceed far more quickly. The massive volumes of water in the seas greatly influence the changes occurring in our atmosphere.

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WARMING WATERS AND RISING RISKS

The ocean is far, far away from Springdale, Arkansas, located at the foot of the dusty Ozark Mountains. And yet the city is feeling the effects of the rising sea level. Seeking safety, 10,000 of the 72,000 inhabitants of the Marshall Islands have made the city their new home.

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LIFE IN THE DANGER ZONE

Flooding, erosion, sinking: our coasts are under ever-increasing pressure. People who live in coastal regions are especially endangered—and there are an ever-increasing number of them.

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A CORROSIVE FUTURE

Our oceans are becoming more and more acidic. Though barely detectable to humans, for many of the animals that live there, the change is already proving fatal.

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EXPLOITATION AND PROTECTED AREAS

The plants and animals that currently live in the “wilderness” of the ocean and those we want to preserve in marine protected areas are just a fraction of what once thrived in the seas. To understand what we’ve lost and what we might be able to recover, we need to know what used to be.

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WHO OWNS THE OCEAN?

For thousands of years people have taken to the sea to fish and trade. For centuries wars have been fought as rival rulers claimed the rights to the sea and its exploitation. And those conflicts have continued to this day.

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GLOBAL HUNGER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES

Unseen treasures with mysterious names beckon from the depths of the ocean: manganese nodules, cobalt crusts, black smokers. Hidden within them are rich concentrations of valuable metals.

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WHERE DOES THE FUTURE LIE?

Countries are turning their attention to the ocean in order to ensure that future demands for energy and raw materials can be met. Fossil fuels or renewable energy—which direction will they take? What are the opportunities and risks?

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DESTINATION: OCEAN

Cruise ships carrying 4,000 travelers, all-inclusive beachfront resorts—increasing global tourism places an ever-greater strain on the ocean and coastal populations.

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WORLD TRADE AND PRICE WARS

Coffee, bananas, smartphones, automobiles: cargo ships transport goods around the world. Shipping routes are the world’s arteries and ships are its blood cells. 90 percent of global trade is seaborne. Who does what—and who pays for it all?

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LIVING WITH THE OCEAN

The ocean gives us a lot, we depend on it for our human life. If we want to benefit from its gifts in the future, we should change our behavior towards the generous “aquatic continent”. And not just about that. An overview.

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TOWARDS A NEW GOVERNANCE OF THE OCEAN

Nearly half the Earth is covered by areas of the ocean that lie beyond national jurisdictions. They are among the least protected and least responsibly managed places in the world. In light of the importance of the oceans for our food supplies, for preventing climate change, and for preserving biodiversity, this is irresponsible. Change is needed, urgently.

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Read more: World Ocean Review