Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Zane 

Monterey Bay Aquarium will be a 'Voice for the Ocean' at U.N. Ocean Conference

Staff will contribute on critical issues, including sustainable global fisheries


Monterey Bay Aquarium

Sunset over the Great Tide Pool at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The ocean produces half the oxygen we breathe, regulates climate by absorbing atmospheric carbon, and is the primary source of protein for 3.5 billion people. These and other critical benefits are fast eroding as growing human needs strain the ocean's living systems as never before.

From June 5-9, the United Nations will host its first-ever Ocean Conference in New York City, a global gathering focused on protecting ocean resources essential to human survival. The Monterey Bay Aquarium will play a significant role, advocating for global action to reduce ocean plastic pollution, new commitments to promote sustainable fisheries, and action plans to tackle ocean acidification and other impacts of climate change.

"The ocean plays a vital role in enabling life on Earth to exist, yet ocean health has been ignored for too long by international decision-makers," said Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. "The U.N. Ocean Conference is a signal that things are changing. We'll be there as a voice for the living ocean on which our future depends."

Aquarium staff will contribute on critical issues, including:

- Advancing sustainable global fisheries: Through its Seafood Watch program and international policy work, the aquarium plays a respected and influential role in shifting seafood production in more sustainable directions. Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of global fisheries and aquaculture, will speak at a marquee event – a U.N. Partnership Dialogue on Wednesday, June 7 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) on "Making fisheries sustainable". Other speakers will represent the World Trade Organization and the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization.

- On Monday, June 5 (9:30-10 a.m. panel; 11:30 a.m. to noon press briefing), Julie Packard will be part of a World Economic Forum announcement and discussion about new commitments to end illegal, unregulated and unreported tuna fishing.

- Combatting ocean acidification: The aquarium was an early supporter of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, and will join the founding partners – British Columbia, and the states of California, Oregon and Washington – at an event on Thursday, June 8 (3-4:30 p.m.). Margaret Spring, aquarium vice president for conservation and science, and chief conservation officer, will address action plans to protect vulnerable resources.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

- Reducing plastic pollution: The aquarium championed California's first-in-the-nation statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags, and this summer launches a collaborative campaign involving 19 leading U.S. aquariums to reduce consumer demand for single-use plastic products – from drinking straws to shopping bags. On Monday, June 5 (3-4:30 p.m.), Aimee David, aquarium director of ocean conservation policy strategies, will address efforts to tackle marine debris internationally and nationally.

About the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. It works globally to advance policies that address climate change, protect vulnerable ocean species and ecosystems, reduce ocean plastic pollution, and promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Learn more at


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