Life below water, WUR Sustainable development goal

14. Life below water

The (inter)national marine policy is aimed at the sustainable use of oceans and coastal areas.

Wageningen Marine Research offers both national as well as international governmental institutions and commercial business insight into the consequences of the current ocean policy on, for example, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Our goal: Conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources

Research projects

Examples of WUR projects

Best Tuna

Across the world’s oceans float thousands of buoys, placed there by fishermen to increase their catches of tunas including yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack. NGOs and governments worry about overfishing of (juvenile) tuna and other fish species, and until now there is little monitoring and regulation. Given the economic importance of the tuna fisheries, sustainable and equitable management is imperative to continued regional development. The BESTTuna programme explores whether and how they can provide adequate incentives to adopt sustainable fishing practices to reduce pressure on tuna stocks. Results of the programme are implemented in new policies that improve the overall governance and transparency of the fishery.

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Sustainable seaweed cultivation

Agriculture has been developing for millennia, but on the oceans hunting and gathering is still the norm. WUR scientists see opportunities for sea agriculture. A seaweed field the size of The Netherlands could provide enough proteins for the entire European population. This field could even be placed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where agricultural production does not interfere with rich ecosystems. Growing crops in the ocean also means that the nutrients that have been flowing into sea for years - due to human activity - can finally be regained and brought to land.

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