About Us

Since 1969, Oceanic Society has been inspiring and
empowering people worldwide to take part
in building a healthy future for the world’s oceans.

Join us as we work to create a more oceanic society.

How We Work

People need healthy oceans to survive and to thrive. Oceanic Society works to improve ocean health by addressing the root cause of its decline—human behavior. Simply put, the oceans are in trouble because people are putting too much into and taking too much out of them.

Through our conservation travel programs, marine research, and investments in conservation, we are inspiring and empowering people at all levels of society to become better stewards of ocean ecosystems.

Our mission is to conserve marine wildlife and habitats by deepening the connections between people and nature.

We Harness the Power of Nature Travel

Since 1969, we have guided tens of thousands of travelers on life-changing journeys to explore the natural world. Again and again we have seen how conscientious nature tourism can transform the human relationship with the natural world by:

  • Making it pay to protect ecosystems—Growing the non-consumptive economic value of ocean resources through tourism means healthy oceans are valued by the communities and politicians who manage them.
  • Building an informed community of ocean advocates—Meaningful personal experiences with ocean wildlife and conservation issues turn our travelers into lifelong ocean advocates, armed with a deep understanding of the issues at hand and the tools to take action.
  • Supporting ocean research and conservation—By partnering with field-based research and conservation projects in the communities we visit, our travel programs provide financial support and manpower needed to study and protect ocean ecosystems both locally and regionally.

We Support Science for Conservation

All effective conservation is based in good science. We study ocean wildlife and ecosystems to generate information that guides marine conservation. We also go beyond the biological sciences to study the science of human behavior change. Our research priorities include:

  • Coral reef monitoring—Coral reefs are some of Earth’s most biodiverse and valuable ecosystems, and yet they are also highly threatened. We conduct and support long-term reef monitoring efforts that evaluate reef ecosystem health over time and support sound reef conservation policies. 
  • Threatened species research—We study whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, seabirds, and other threatened species to assure that their key habitats are identified and protected, that conservation efforts are prioritized, and that threats to their survival are understood and reduced.
  • Small-scale fisheries research—Globally, 87 percent of fisheries are fully exploited, over exploited, or in a state of collapse. Small-scale fisheries account for perhaps 99 percent of the world’s 50 million fishers, and yet they are largely unmonitored and unmanaged. We work with small-scale fishers to provide scientific data needed to manage their fisheries sustainably.  
  • The science of behavior change—Behavior change science is a growing field of research at the intersection of psychology, economics, neuroscience, marketing, and more. We are applying behavior change science to our programs in an effort to target the root cause of the ocean crisis—human behavior—and create the lasting changes that are needed to improve ocean health.

We Invest in Conservation Action

We provide financial and technical support to field-based marine conservation projects worldwide. Our investments are directed to projects that focus on flagship species, like sea turtles, marine mammals, and sharks, because these projects leverage the unique charismatic power of those species to engage people in addressing broader issues of ocean health.

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