The Blue Marine Foundation is dedicated to creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models for fishing. Overfishing represents a major issue for food security and has devastating consequences for the biodiversity of our planet. Marine life is under threat from climate change, acidification, pollution, invasive species and plastic. The unsustainable removal of fish from the ocean's ecosystem will lower its resilience to all other threats.
It's estimated that 90% of commercial fish stocks are fully or overexploited and 90% of large, predatory fish are gone.
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most overfished bodies of water in the world and is also under pressure from unsustainable tourism, the degradation of its seagrass meadows (which can absorb carbon 35 times more efficiently than rainforests), climate change, invasive species and pollution.
Marine Conservation Education
The Swarovski Foundation has partnered with the Blue Marine Foundation, to educate the Aeolian Islands community and achieve effective marine conservation. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are areas of the ocean where human activity has been limited and are highly effective management tools that can address these problems, especially when coupled with community education initiatives.
The Blue Marine Foundation has proved that by empowering coastal communities, new MPA's can be effectively designated and better managed to address these threats. The Aeolians are ideally positioned for an MPA as they’re surrounded by hugely productive waters that are full of biodiversity, home to endangered species and megafauna such as sperm whales, dolphins, loggerhead turtles, red grouper and bluefin tuna.
The history and culture of the archipelago is also heavily entwined with fishing; however, the region is now severely overfished. This not only threatens the marine environment, but also the livelihoods and coastal fishing communities that depend upon it.