Healthy ocean ecosystems are essential for the health of the planet and its people. Over 80% of life of Earth is found in our oceans, and the oceans produce over half of the oxygen that we breathe. The ocean plays a crucial role in the global carbon cycle, shuttling gigatons of carbon each year between the atmosphere and plankton. Over three billion people rely on a healthy ocean for sustenance, with one in eight depending on the ocean for their livelihoods.
The ocean draws down, retains, and stores almost a third of our emissions out of the atmosphere each year. Communities around the world, particularly those living in small island developing states, are already experiencing the devastating effects of climate change, including an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events with little time and funding to recover and rising sea levels threatening the lives of coastal communities. Without the buffer that the ocean provides, more people would be suffering the worst projected consequences of climate change if we do not act now.
Furthermore, our oceans are at risk of being irrevocably damaged by human activity on land and at sea.
Our ocean provides us with the essential ecosystem services that humanity needs to survive, including food, fresh water, and oxygen, as well as regulating processes for the whole planet. However, these ecosystems are threatened by increasing emissions, rising sea temperatures, and physical degradation of the ocean.
As we create more emissions, we place additional pressure on our oceans to regulate our climate. Degradation of the ocean due to overfishing, destructive fishing, mining, dredging, anchoring, sewage discharge, agricultural and surface run-off, and pollution limits how much carbon our ocean store and how long it can protect us against the negative effects of climate change.
We must protect the planetary ecosystems that give us life. We must stop harming the ocean through our actions, so that it can continue to provide for us. Fortunately, many of the most damaging of human activities are already regulated.
The challenge is enforcing these complex regulations on the vast, wild ocean. What is out of sight, is often out of mind. The men and women responsible for enforcing maritime regulations, the last line of defence of our ocean, work under harsh conditions, with limited resources, facing complex situations, outmanned, ill-equipped, and often blinded to the committed efforts of a confederation of lawbreakers to break the rules and destroy what the oceans provide.
It has been proven that the ocean can recover when human activity is properly managed, and that thriving, healthy ecosystems are far more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change.
Using satellites, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to analyse vessel behaviour, OceanMind’s advanced technology sifts through the swarm of human activity on the ocean every second, understands who is working legally, and who is violating the rules of ocean use. This intelligence can then be used to direct patrol vessels to suspicious activity, inform in-port inspections, or any other enforcement action.
Our team of ocean experts work with maritime regulators, providing direct intelligence, recommendations, training, and capacity building to ensure that they can take effective action against non-compliance with the regulations designed to protect our ocean.
Today we work with governments in Southeast Asia, Central America, Canada, Europe, and the UK, as well as with INTERPOL, and regional enforcement bodies.
Modern technology means that what was previously invisible is now visible. In the past, expensive enforcement vessels were needed to investigate destructive human activity, now so much can be done with just a laptop. Protecting 100% of the ocean and ensuring the health of our ocean ecosystems has never been more possible. Global enforcement of marine regulations is the key to reducing human activity and giving the ocean room to recover and thrive. We need to work together, regulators, industry, and NGOs, to make this possible and protect all our futures.