Ocean Watch's extensive, user-friendly format supports the flow of data into policy. The platform's open data, visualizations and analysis provide policy makers and civil society stakeholders with the tools to better understand ocean ecosystems and adopt equitable, integrated approaches to ocean management.
The ocean provides food, sources energy, and helps transport consumer goods all around the world. However, traditional ocean management has enabled unsustainable fishing practices, pollution and climate change to degrade the ocean and marine ecosystems — in turn hurting billions of people reliant on its resources.
The ocean is currently divided into series of specific goods and services, including fishing, shipping and marine transport, coastal tourism, offshore wind and environmental protection. While all these sectors are interconnected, they are mostly managed independently from one another — data and information sharing is rare and clear communication channels are lacking.
Ocean management must mirror the connected nature of the ocean.
Integrated ocean management invites a holistic process that allows ocean sectors to communicate and collaborate on specific, interconnected issues. Such cross-sectoral collaboration is desperately needed to address the gaps exacerbating ocean degradation, support equitable growth and develop a sustainable ocean economy.
Policy makers require reliable, up-to-date data to drive and make informed decisions on sustainable ocean management — and to develop a new integrated approach to ocean management. Ocean Watch addresses the current gap in ocean policy development and planning by presenting essential and reliable ocean data to policymakers. Assess to a centralized, intuitive set of ocean data will give policymakers the tools to drive integrated ocean management forward.