The earth's surface is more than 70% ocean, supporting our claim that our planet would have best been called "Aqua," more water than land, a sea of blue connecting the remaining disconnected green, where has been concentrated the history of human activity, for better or for worse.
The paradox is obvious: Whatever we do to sustain the national fishing industry will be countered by external suppliers operating outside sustainability management regimes to meet an ever-growing market demand.
Humans have always depended on the "blue" covering most of our planet. Yet only recently have we become more aware of the magnitude of our impacts -- and realized what we must do to conserve and be able to continue to benefit from these waters.
While the past decade has demonstrated great public awareness of ocean issues, and in some cases some striking successes in ocean protection and stewardship, our overall progress toward a global solution has been limited.
The High Seas support more than 10 percent of the world's fisheries, share migratory fish and large animal populations with nearshore areas and make up 58 percent of the world's oceans or more than 40 percent of the planet's surface.
Thriving, healthy oceans are essential, not only to the wonderful array of corals, fish, squid, sharks and whales, but for all of us. They provide us with the food we eat. They provide us with half of the oxygen we breathe.
Many ocean species that are over-exploited and traded internationally live in areas beyond national jurisdiction, a region known as the high seas that starts 200 miles from shore and covers half the Earth.