PHOTO(S): © Keith A. Ellenbogen
This goal assesses how well countries are maximizing the sustainable harvest of non-food marine resources.
Marine natural products can provide substantial economic benefits when sustainably harvested and traded. For example, millions of marine ornamental (aquarium) fish are harvested and exported for sale each year. This trade can provide a valuable and long-term income stream for low-income coastal communities if undertaken in a sustainable manner.
This goal score is based on the sustainable harvest quantity, relative to some target, of marine natural products such as seaweed and marine plants, sponges, shells, fish oil and meal, and marine ornamental fish. This goal does not include bioprospecting which focuses on potential (and largely unknowable and potentially infinite) value rather than current realized value, or non-living products such as oil and gas or mining products which by definition are not sustainable. Ideally targets are based on the amount of harvest that does not threaten future harvest, such as the maximum sustainable yield from fisheries stock status scores.
Currently, the global Ocean Health Index includes harvest and production of non-food seaweed, ornamental fish, and wild-caught fish used for fish oil and meal.
A high score indicates that natural resources are maximally harvested at a rate that does not threaten future harvest and minimizes ecological harm.
Explore the full description of the data and model used in the Global OHI MODEL. Or, take a look at PRACTICAL GUIDANCE for advice on adapting the goal for future assessments and to learn how previous OHI+ assessments have modified this goal to address differences in data availability or priorities.