Who We Are
As the world’s largest conservation organization, WWF combines its scientific foundation and global reach to help ensure that our modern food system meets the needs of people while also respecting nature. WWF collaborates with foundations, governments, businesses, communities, individuals and more than 5 million members in 100 countries to conserve many of the world’s most ecologically important regions, species, and commodities.
Healthy oceans are critical to the overall health of the planet. They absorb heat-trapping carbon from of the atmosphere, support a vast array of diverse wildlife, and provide food, livelihoods, and medicine for billions of people. According to WWF’s Living Blue Planet report, “the ocean generates economic benefits worth at least $2.5 trillion per year. The total value of the ocean’s underpinning assets is at least $24 trillion.”
The Future of Seafood
No human activity has a greater immediate impact on habitats, wildlife, and natural resources than food production.
As the global population and consumption grow, we must meet increasing demand for food without intensifying its environmental impacts. Over the last 50 years, demand for seafood has increased five-fold, and the average annual increase in consumption has outpaced population growth by double. Today, about one third of fish stocks are overfished.
In addition, aquaculture—the fastest growing source of animal protein—is putting pressure on vital ecosystems around the world. Farms themselves are encroaching on mangroves and other coastal habitats; the use of wild-caught fish for feed is diminishing fish stocks that form the core of the marine food web; and as farmers add more soybeans and palm oil to feed, increased production of these commodities threatens forests and grasslands around the world, from Brazil’s Cerrado savannah to Indonesian rainforests to the Northern Great Plains of the U.S. and Canada.
Clearly these developments present material risks to the seafood sector, but they also offer opportunities for businesses that want to sustain this valuable source of food and give their customers the sustainable, responsible, and traceable products they increasingly demand.
WWF is a leader in seafood sustainability with over two decades of private sector engagement. WWF works with seafood industry stakeholders along global supply chains to leverage eco-certification programs, improvement projects, and multi-stakeholder platforms in the transition toward sustainable, responsible, and traceable seafood.