Scientists Believe Marine Life in the World’s Oceans Can Recover by 2050

A team of renowned scientists from all over the world has found that if decisive and urgent action is taken, marine life in the world’s oceans can recover to healthy levels in the next three decades. What does decisive and urgent mean in this context, and what can be changed? Keep scrolling to learn more…

A colorful underwater image of an ocean's reef
Marine Life Is “Remarkably Resilient”

Despite the evident damage caused by human interference, scientists believe there’s actually a good chance for ocean populations to be restored in a matter of decades. Researchers found that despite the losses in marine biodiversity during the 20th century, the 21st century has seen a resurgence and slower rates of population losses. Due to the end of commercial hunting in the southwest Atlantic, the nearly extinct humpback whales have started to resurge in numbers.

A humpback whale above the water surface

Climate Change Problems Must be Addressed

Pollution, rising temperatures, and acidic water are all factors that affect marine life. Between 70 and 90% of coral reefs in the world’s oceans are expected to disappear because of these factors. Climate change leads to shrinking fish populations, too. Still, scientists believe that we can accelerate the rate of recovery of many ocean systems if these climate change issues are addressed on time.

A picture of a dying coral reef

Decisive and Urgent Action Cannot be Delayed

Researchers identified nine crucial components that can be the key to restoring marine life, which covers coral reefs, kelp, oyster reefs, seagrass, saltmarshes, fisheries, megafauna, mangroves, and the deep sea. For the ocean recovery to succeed, pollution must be reduced, climate change mitigated, species and spaces should be protected, habitats restored, and harvesting done wisely.

A picture of seagrass up close

Professor Callum Roberts from the University of York, who co-authored the study, says he’s hopeful in the science of restoration. He says we have the expertise and know-how to restore vital marine habitats like the salt marshes and the mangrove swamps.