Happy World Oceans Day

Forage fish

In celebration of World Oceans Day, the Marine Fish Conservation Network and our partners are sharing how our oceans inspire, move and sustain us.


“Some of us are born of the sea. The ocean isn’t just a part of our lives, it’s part of our very being. We depend on it to make a living, but also to maintain a certain sense of purpose and sanity. However inconvenient and however seemingly absurd, we fight to make sure its vast resources are managed sustainably.”

John McMurray, Owner and Operator, One More Cast Charters
President, American Saltwater Guides Association


“Now more than ever the ocean is sustaining our community…providing food and livelihood as an essential industry when other businesses are shuttered. Social distancing is easy when you work on the open ocean miles from shore, but COVID-19 has reminded us how important it is to care for each other and for our ocean planet. We have also been reminded that we depend on local food—and the people who provide it—through good times and these hard times; our job is to sustain the food systems that sustain us, and to ensure Americans continue to have access to wild and abundant seafood.”

Linda Behnken, Executive Director
Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association


“I’m grateful to be able to enjoy the bounty of the ocean, both culinarily and for the experiences it gives me and my family. There is nothing better than kids playing on a sandy beach next to the ocean and looking out onto the horizon enjoying the majestic beauty and wonders of the deep blue sea. Let’s work hard to protect this incredible blessing.”

Lyf Gildersleeve, Owner
Flying Fish Company


“I always look forward to that point when the land drops below the horizon, there’s nothing around me but sea, and the ocean can fill my thoughts and my senses… I squint against the sun slanting up off the water, watch porpoises riding my wake, see shearwaters gliding just above the wavetops. I hear the waves slap against the hull, feel the wheel in my hands as I chase the compass needle toward deeper water. I smell the salt-scented breeze. Finally, I feel like I’m home.”

Charles Witek
Attorney, saltwater angler and blogger


“I often wonder why the ocean is irreplaceable spiritual medicine. Does Earth’s tidal heartbeat lull my conscience? Does the electrical conductivity of saltwater engage my connection to the medium of life’s origin? Does the sobering starkness of exposure quell the unhelpful myth that I might survive the tides? The more I learn and unlearn, the more I turn to the ocean as my Giver. I live by her. I will die by her. I ask all to honor her, even if we cannot fathom her depths.”

Marissa Wilson, Executive Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council


“In these challenging times of self-isolation and social-distancing, I am reminded of the many wonderful friendships and memories I have made over the years in the back of a boat on the ocean. No matter how foreboding the present situation, I simply close my eyes envisioning those sights, sounds and smells, and with immense gratitude for all the oceans have given me; all becomes well.”

Rob Kramer, President
Wild Oceans


“The ocean means so much to me. I have made a good living caring for it, harvesting its fish and often feel one with it. My wife, Virginia Magnan, is clinical manager/nurse on the front line fighting the pandemic. She is also a great poet. Here are a couple of verses from a poem, ‘Water Calling,’ she wrote about my relationship with the ocean.

The water’s in his blood
It’s been there all his life
It has waved him though adventure
And has nurtured him through strife.

He hears the water calling
Of the tales that sift like sand
And he yearns to be one with it
Like fingers to a hand.”

David Monti, Rhode Island Charter Captain, fishing writer and fish advocate
Second Vice President, RI Saltwater Anglers Association


“I am grateful to have a connection with the ocean as a commercial fisherman and my time on the water increases my respect for the diversity and strength of the oceans. I try to give back to the marine ecosystem, which has provided so much to me and my family, through advocacy work in fisheries management to protect habitat and minimize waste. I believe fishermen can and should be responsible stewards of the resource.”

Theresa Peterson, Fisheries Policy Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council


“Sportfishing on the ocean represents one of the greatest transfers of wealth from urban to rural coastal communities. Due to strong conservation provisions adhered to in the Magnuson Stevens Act, our coastal economies are recovering, despite challenging ocean conditions, showing resilience in groundfish stocks. The ocean forgives our past mistakes and provides a bounty for all if we take care of it.”

Bob Rees, Executive Director
NW Guides and Anglers Association


“For my 20 years as a commercial salmon fisherman, I relied upon seas and rivers for my living, just as wild salmon rely upon them for their lives. Mid-way through those years I realized I also relied upon seas and rivers for the health of my soul. Seas and rivers are gifts that keep on giving and giving and giving…as long as we gift back to our waters as much care as is humanly possible.”

Kevin Scribner, Founder
Forever Wild Seafood


“The ocean is my home; it’s home to my business and home to some of the most remarkable species on this planet. As caretakers of the ocean, it’s our responsibility to protect it for generations to come; our children deserve to witness its beauty.”

Kyle Schaefer, Fly Fishing Guide
Soul Fly Outfitters


“There is a romance to the ocean and to our lives as fishermen. We find freedom in the intense connection to our food, our world, and each other. It offers capability, nourishment, and the unshakeable knowledge that even the worst tides must, inevitably, come to an end.”

Jamie O’Connor, Working Waterfronts Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council


“The ocean holds a magic that beguiles, enchants and nourishes me. I look at what it is, what it means and what it gives and takes and know I will always bend my knee to its power. Like those things I cherish, I’m better for knowing it and honored to fight to protect it.”

Tom Sadler, Deputy Director
Marine Fish Conservation Network


“We have for generations relied on our oceans for inspiration, nourishment, and our livelihoods. On World Oceans Day—and every day—we must recommit to sustainably managing our ocean resources so we can continue to feel this connection and thrive from its bounty for decades and centuries to come.”

Robert Vandermark, Executive Director
Marine Fish Conservation Network

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