Whale shark in ocean 2019 Photo Contest - 1st Place - Water A whale shark swimming in the depths of Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. The rare weather conditions and visibility allowed for this image. The light rays penetrating the water can only be achieved when visibility is at its best and there is no wind. © Alex Kydd/TNC Photo Contest 2019

It’s predicted that if overfishing continues at the current pace, all the world’s fisheries will collapse by the year 2048.

Eighty percent of global fisheries are already considered fully exploited or over-exploited. Rising seas and stronger storms threaten 40 percent of the world’s population. Mangrove forests sequester four times more carbon than rainforests, yet they are disappearing at a pace three to five times faster. These ecosystems provide crucial resources and protection to coastal communities and their economies.

Without urgent measures we may be the last generation to catch food from the oceans. But all is not lost. There’s still time to reverse decades of damage to the world’s oceans before we hit the point of no return — the time to act is NOW.

Reef Cam up close © Kina Diving

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A beautiful sunset over Roanoke Sound at the end of the 1.5 mile out-and-back Roanoke Trail on the western edge of the Nags Head Woods Preserve. © Ben Herndon/Tandemstock.com