The mission of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science is to advance ocean conservation through science. We conduct world-class scientific research that increases knowledge about critical threats to oceans and their inhabitants, provides the foundation for smarter ocean policy, and establishes new frameworks for improved ocean conservation.
The Institute’s research focuses on advancing ecosystem-based fisheries management, a strategy which recognizes that the oceans’ problems are interconnected and that species and habitats cannot be successfully managed in isolation; as well as on advancing knowledge about vulnerable and ecologically important marine animals that are understudied. We are dedicated to developing scientific approaches to sustainably manage forage fish, small schooling fish that are food for marine mammals and seabirds but are being depleted from our oceans.
We also conduct cutting-edge research into sharks, whose populations are declining due to destructive commercial fishing practices, and sturgeon in both the United States and overseas, many species of which are endangered due to relentless pursuit of their prized caviar eggs. The Institute’s research has led to significant policy improvements, including international trade restrictions on great white sharks and their parts, and a U.S. ban on the sale of wild beluga caviar.