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Oceana Canada Calls for Increased Ocean Conservation Funding Ahead of World Oceans Day, Highlights New Canadian Leadership

Press Release

June 5, 2024

Toronto, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnaabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat Peoples – Ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8, Oceana Canada is drawing attention to the urgent need for increased investment in ocean conservation, which currently receives less than 1% of global philanthropic funding. Oceans connect us all, covering 71% of the Earth’s surface, and are essential for sustaining diverse ecosystems, food sources, jobs, economic growth, cultural practices, and industries like fishing, offshore energy, shipping, and eco-tourism. The stark contrast between the ocean’s significance and the funding it receives underscores the critical need for greater investment to protect and restore it.

The impacts of climate change, overfishing, pollution, and biodiversity loss threaten the ocean’s capacity to sustain life, livelihoods, and prosperity. According to Our Shared Sea’s Funding Trends 2023, global philanthropic funding reached approximately $1.105 trillion ($811 billion USD) in 2022. However, ocean conservation received less than 1%: 1.91-3.83 billion ($1.4–2.8 billion USD). Yet oceans hold the potential to address major global challenges, including climate change and food insecurity.

This major effort requires collaborative action, and Canadian funders have already stepped up in 2024 to protect Canadian ocean health and abundance and help fill the ocean conservation funding gap. Oceana Canada is pleased to announce that the Nikita Foundation has committed $6 million to Oceana, both globally and in Canada, over three years. Additionally, Power Corporation of Canada, The Echo Foundation, and BC-based Acuitas Therapeutics have recently confirmed annual or multi-year commitments. These contributions will provide much-needed resources to address threats including overfishing, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution, while also supporting the livelihoods of those who depend on a healthy ocean.

“Canada’s haunting legacy of overfishing persists, epitomized by decades of economic and social hardships following the northern cod collapse. Now, the scarcity of forage fish such as capelin, mackerel, and herring jeopardize entire ecosystems and industries,” said Josh Laughren, Oceana Canada’s Executive Director. “Corporate and community support is crucial for initiatives such as rebuilding abundant and lucrative wild fisheries in Canada, stopping plastic pollution, protecting marine habitats, and saving endangered species like North Atlantic right whales from extinction. Every dollar can help drive meaningful change, supporting research, policy, advocacy, and community engagement efforts.”

Oceana Canada, part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation, is marking this World Oceans Day by calling on Canadians to help create a brighter future for the ocean and be part of the solution by joining Oceana Canada’s campaigns to revitalize the oceans along all three of our coastlines and visiting

“The threats facing our oceans are immediate and they are in crisis, but with collective action, significant improvements can be made. By joining this effort and supporting ocean conservation, Canadians can become part of a dedicated community committed to preserving the vitality of our ocean for future generations,” said Laughren. “The generous contributions from major Canadian ocean funders, along with invaluable support from individuals across the country, demonstrate a growing acknowledgment of the crucial role oceans play in sustaining Canada’s coastal communities, climate, and ecosystems, and underscore the urgent need to protect our ocean.”

On World Oceans Day, Oceana Canada is asking Canadians to join the call to safeguard our ocean and the life it sustains. By contributing to ocean conservation, we can ensure the health and vitality of our oceans for future generations. Together, we can create a brighter future for our planet.

To learn more and support Oceana Canada, please visit

Oceana Canada was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana Canada has successfully campaigned to ban single-use plastics, end the shark fin trade, make rebuilding depleted fish populations the law, improve the way fisheries are managed and protect marine habitat. We work with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the federal government to return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada’s oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits and protect our future. Find out more at

Media contacts:
Vaishali Dassani,
Oceana Canada,,

Angela Pinzon,
Pilot PMR,,




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