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Our oceans are our planet's life support system.

© Thomas Peschak

With a growing global human population and encroaching coastal development, the long-term survival of marine ecosystems – and the many people that rely on them – are under threat. Contributing factors include overfishing, pollution and climate change.

Why does it matter?

Our shared oceans produce 70% of our oxygen, absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide and drive the Earth's weather systems.

They are also an essential source of food, feeding over a billion people. Plus 10% of the world’s population rely on fishing-related activities for their livelihoods, from commercial and small-scale fishing to transport and tourism.

The marine environment also holds great economic value, with South Africa’s coastal goods and services contributing a third to our gross domestic product. Thus managing the many uses of our oceans and coasts is an ongoing challenge.

Did you know?

More creatures live in the oceans than on land, with over 12 000 marine species in South African waters alone.

© Mark Chipps
What is WWF doing?

We are working towards creating healthy oceans which support abundant biodiversity, sustainable livelihoods and a thriving economy.
WWF engages with government, business, coastal communities and seafood consumers to help develop an integrated approach to looking after our oceans. We also ensure adequate planning of the many shared uses of the marine environment, including protecting special nature reserves of the sea.

What can you do?

WWF’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) is an app-based tool which shows the sustainability status of what you’re eating. Fish that are red-listed should be avoided completely, think twice about eating orange-listed fish, and green-listed means you can go ahead!

Make sustainable seafood choices by using the WWF-SASSI app.


Vote with your wallet to motivate your favourite restaurants and supermarkets to sell sustainably-sourced seafood.

© Eitan Prince/WWF