Solutions for sustaining our ocean | WWF

You’ll find us monitoring endangered marine turtles nesting on beaches, in community halls discussing the zoning of local fisheries areas, and at international fora devising new global treaties that can help sustain our ocean.

We are involved in marine conservation in many ways, but it all contributes to this: protect and restore ocean health so that it continues to support the lives of billions.

Small outrigger boat with fisherman pulling up a newly caught yellowfin tuna by hook and line, Indonesia.

© Jürgen Freund / WWF

At work for the ocean

WWF operates at the forefront of science and policy debates, but also on the frontlines of marine conservation where people’s source of income depends exclusively on there being enough fish in the sea.

Supporting communities to securing coastal livelihoods and restoring fish stocks is central to our strategy.

WWF works with governments, partners and the private sector to design and implement a true Sustainable Blue Economy to ensure that the ocean economy contributes to prosperity and the resilience of coastal communities, today and long into the future.

From policy to campaigns

We are reaching out to key economic and political platforms to remind politicians of the importance of the ocean for food security, socio-economic development and livelihoods.

WWF has a loud and credible voice at high-level international fora, such as the United Nations General Assembly, where we advocate for better protection of the ocean with the High Seas Alliance, and to make sure that the ocean is part of in the global Sustainable Development Agenda.

When we need to take a stand and draw a line around places in dire need of protection, we catalyze voices and mobilize public support at a massive scale. This way we have acted to protect the Great Barrier Reef from industrial development, and the deep sea from seabed mining.

From dialogue to action

Some of our greatest successes have involved bringing governments, aid agencies, businesses and communities together to take radical action for ocean health and human well-being. When these solutions work, such as in the Coral Triangle, we strive to replicate them elsewhere around the world in places like...
the Baltic Sea, where WWF and partners have set up the largest membership network in the region to protect and restore marine ecosystems following Blue Economy Principles.
the Northern Mozambique Channel, where WWF and partners support governments in setting up a regional vision and action plan that will enhance fisheries and protect critical habitat, ensuring sustainable futures for coastal communities.
the Mediterranean, where the WWF Med Marine Initiative aims to foster a regional approach to restoring fisheries and reducing the impact of the numerous threats that affect the livelihoods of coastal communities in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.


"Human welfare is at the heart of why we must engage on marine conservation. We know today that well-being and security for a large proportion of the world’s population is dependent on the health of the marine environment."

John Tanzer, Director, WWF Global Marine Programme

WWF's Global Marine Programme supports the conservation of WWF's marine priority places and species, as well as the work of relevant global initiatives.

WWF's conservation work also strives to protect:

© WWF-US / James Morgan
Fisherman gathers seine nets from the water on the Ilha de Mafamede, Mozambique. Mafamede is one of the protected islands that comprise Primeiras e Segundas.
© WWF-US / James Morgan


We work with partners to tackle both conservation and development in an integrated manner. One example is the WWF-CARE Alliance. With CARE, we have helped more than 10,000 coastal households and partners to secure healthy marine ecosystems and food along the East African coast, including in the Primeiras and Segundas archipelago.

Find out more ►


Science Policy Innovation Local

Our work is grounded in integrated ocean management, a holistic approach that involves planning marine-based activities so that they do not threaten the marine environment and the communities who depend on it.

WWF's 5 strategies to sustain our ocean:

Advocate for integrated ocean management

Aerial view of Camarines Sur coast and islands, Bicol, Philippines. © WWF
From shipping companies to subsistence fishers, there are many different ocean users with different – sometimes conflicting – priorities and stakes.

We advocate for integrated ocean management at all scales – national, regional and global – so that impacts from marine-based activities do not deteriorate the natural environment and jeopardize livelihoods.

Support small-scale fisheries and sustainable aquaculture

A fisherman with a juvenile yellow fin tuna caught by a commercial fishing vessel © WWF
Tens of millions of people set out to sea every day to feed their families and earn a little money. We want to help these people make a better living while being stewards of the ocean.

Among others, we are doing this by sharing best practices in small-scale fisheries and smallholder aquaculture so that people can earn more, while damaging the environment less and securing livelihoods for future generations.

Promote the value of services provided by ecosystems

Mangroves build their own environment with its intricate root system that traps sediment. © WWF
Just as property and goods have a financial value, so do ecosystems such as reefs and estuaries. And when the services of these ecosystems are valued and understood, it is easier to make the case for their protection, using this knowledge for planning and decision-making.

We demonstrate in a systematic way the role that healthy, functioning ecosystems play for human well-being as well as social and economic development. This makes it possible to influence decision-makers and ensure they take the necessary steps to safeguard them.

Promote sustainable marine tourism

Incomes from dive tourism can strongly contribute to the development of small island developing states © WWF
Tourism is booming around the world, sometimes improving lives but also threatening coastlines, water quality and local wildlife.

Jointly with governments and business partners, we are building clear standards for running marine and coastal tourism in an environmentally responsible way, reducing the industry’s footprint and proposing alternative, sustainable livelihoods to coastal communities.

Manage the impacts of oil and gas and seabed mining industries

Oiled penguins rescued after oil spill being fed fish at the Southern African National Foundation for Conservation of Coastal Birds. RSA. © WWF
We dredge and drill to satisfy growing human demands for food and energy, with sometimes catastrophic consequences for the ocean and wildlife.

WWF seeks to positively influence the extractives industries to adopt practices that are safer for the environment, whilst also drawing a line around places that require total protection from human activities, including from seabed mining.

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