Oceans Can Be Restored By 2050, Scientists Say

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 03 Apr 2020 13:16
Oceans Can Be Restored By 2050 Say Scientistssnowmanradio/Flickr/National Park Service

Scientists believe the world’s oceans can be completely restored in just 30 years time.

Oceans have been used as human’s dumping ground for decades, but by investing a lot of time (and a lot of money) into them, scientists think we could restore them by 2050.


The study with this research was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, April 1, where they explain how they believe the restoration can be achieved.


Lead author Carlos Duarte, professor of marine science at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, said:

Our study documents the recovery of marine populations, habitats and ecosystems following past conservation interventions. It provides specific, evidence-based recommendations to scale proven solutions globally.

We know what we ought to do to rebuild marine life, and we have evidence that this goal can be achieved within three decades. Indeed, this requires that we accelerate our efforts, and spread them to areas where efforts are currently modest.


The study identified nine key components to restoring the oceans: salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, coral reefs, kelp, oyster reefs, fisheries, megafauna and the deep ocean.

While the idea is all good and well, the study also stated that it will cost an eye watering $10-20 billion a year to rebuild marine life by 2050.

Sea PollutionPexels

It might seem far-fetched the idea of the oceans being back to normal in just 30 years time, but Natalie Fee, founder of plastic pollution campaign group City to Sea and author of How to Save the World for Freealso believes it’s achievable.


She said to UNILAD:

It’s great news and whilst it may be optimistic, it’s important for us to be reminded that our ecosystems can be restored in a relatively short timeframe. But, and it’s a massive but, the report clearly says the recovery of marine life could be achieved by 2050 “if major pressures—including climate change—are mitigated”.

So yes, if we collectively work together and invest the required $10-20 billion a year needed, the future of the oceans looks a lot brighter. Divided by all the countries in the world, that’s around $75 million each. But at the same time, we’d have to rapidly transition to renewable energy to stop climate breakdown, stop farming so much meat and dairy to prevent oxygen-starved dead zones from appearing in our oceans, stop deep sea mining activities, stop overfishing and stop 12 million tonnes of plastic from getting into our oceans each year.

I’m naturally optimistic and think it we can make it. Seagrass meadows, kelp forests and oyster farms give me hope. But if we don’t make it, I’d rather die trying alongside millions of others than give up on this weird and wonderful planet just yet.


Natalie also added that the our oceans provide a whopping 70% of human’s oxygen so we ‘really, really need to stop f*cking with them and start looking after them’.


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It’s important we all do our part in attempting to reduce the ocean’s pollution and restore marine life, even if we don’t have that $10 billion to contribute towards it.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Climate Change, oceans, Pollution, Science, Study


  1. Nature

    Rebuilding marine life