The world’s oceans are hugely important to human wellbeing. They are home to the majority of the world’s fish stocks, which the UN states “provide more than 3.1 billion people with almost 20 percent of their average per capita intake of animal protein.” They also store massive amounts of CO2, influence global weather patterns and events, and serve a number of other functions that shape the world around us.

Unfortunately, rampant pollution and overfishing are harming the world’s oceans, with entire ecosystems being brought to the brink of collapse by human activity. Decisive conservation action is required to prevent irreparable damage to human food security, the environment, and more.

Fortunately, environmental professionals have important tools for restoring hope to the world’s oceans. Here’s a look at two significant ways they can help.

Promotion of Sustainable Fishing is Important Work for Graduates of Sustainability Studies

Around the world, unsustainable numbers of fish and shellfish are captured as food every day, upsetting delicate food chains. If this practice of overfishing is not eliminated, it is likely that entire ecosystems will collapse, putting many people in a state of economic and nutritional risk.

A number of complex factors make the issue of overfishing difficult to solve. For example, overfishing occurs largely because individuals, companies, and world governments are motivated to exploit oceanic wildlife as a source of income. However, there would be no income without demand for the product, meaning consumers around the world are driving this unsustainable practice through their purchasing habits. This means massive changes in diet, fishing practice, and more will likely be necessary to correct this problem.

Challenging this paradigm will require deep knowledge of the multiple issues promoting overfishing, and an ability to spread the message of the urgency of sustainable fishing to people around the world. By completing sustainability studies, you can gain transdisciplinary skills that can help you achieve these goals. You can learn to analyze the stakeholders of global fishing, create research-based communications to convince them of the need for sustainable change, and conduct other work to lead the way to greater sustainability. Application of these skills could allow you to do important work to save fish stocks the world over.

Transdisciplinary skills allow sustainability professionals to address overfishing on multiple levels

Transdisciplinary skills allow sustainability professionals to address overfishing on multiple levels

By Mitigating Climate Change, Graduates of Sustainability Studies Can Save the Oceans

The oceans are the largest carbon sinks in the world, retaining an enormous proportion of the CO2 emitted by humans each year. Unfortunately, this has caused them significant harm.

As atmospheric carbon has risen, oceans have taken in greater amounts of carbon themselves, which has caused their pH levels to fall. This has rendered the water more acidic, changing oceanic ecosystems in a way that makes their likelihood to store or emit carbon increasingly uncertain. Whether we can continue to rely on oceans as carbon sinks to the same degree in the future remains to be seen.

Increasing ocean acidification may affect the way oceans store and release carbon

Increasing ocean acidification may affect the way oceans store and release carbon

In order to avoid a potential future in which oceans behave unpredictably in their ability to store carbon, it will be necessary for governments and other organizations to implement measures to reduce the carbon emissions. Fortunately, professionals with an M.S. in Sustainability can serve as experts capable of making policy recommendations for implementing the right measures for achieving this goal. Their understanding of carbon management options, such as sequestration, carbon taxation, as well as best practices for communicating policy recommendations, make them indispensable to the low-carbon transition. In time, their strategies may help the world reduce its carbon output and prevent the oceans from an uncertain fate.

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