The five-day Defying Ocean's End (DOE) conference marked the launch of a new, science-based international effort to restore and maintain the health of marine systems. The gathering resulted in several preliminary recommendations:
* Promote a World Ocean Public Trust: 60 percent of the world's ocean falls in international waters, outside any country's jurisdiction. International waters, largely open to uncontrolled exploitation, must be proactively managed. This marks a major reversal in thinking in ocean policy, since the ocean has for centuries been available for open access and exploitation.
* Expand the Global System of Marine Parks: A vital component of ocean management includes formal protection for critical areas to restore and maintain ocean health. Less than one percent of the world's ocean currently enjoys full protection. Seamounts, or mountains that rise from the ocean floor, are areas that offer refuge for a high percentage of marine life. They are of particular concern, since they primarily fall in unregulated international waters.
* Assess Global Priorities: The conservation status of countless marine species and the health of many marine systems is unknown. A massive effort, to begin immediately, is required to even more accurately assess conservation priorities in the ocean, particularly those marine species most vulnerable to extinction.
* Create an Ocean Ethic: An urgent global communication and education campaign is needed to shatter myths about the ocean's limitless ability to withstand human neglect and abuse.