A squadron of Caribbean reef squid  (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) , known for their voracious appetites and ability to communicate by rapid changes in skin color and patterns,   (National Geographic photo)

A squadron of Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea), known for their voracious appetites and ability to communicate by rapid changes in skin color and patterns,   (National Geographic photo)

We are the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance

The Ocean Sanctuary Alliance is a partnership of UN Member States and leaders from across disciplines.

Our mission is to restore and sustain the world's ocean by securing national commitments to establish science-based marine sanctuaries.

We seek to accomplish the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 14, Target 5: By 2020, conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine seas, consistent with national and international law and based on best available scientific information.


The ocean is in a severe and accelerating crisis, threatening the environment and human well-being. The condition of the ocean worldwide is in decline, and its future at risk.  Through the collective efforts of the scientific community, environmental activists, NGOs, and the media, awareness of the fragile state of the ocean is increasing, and hundreds of local efforts to improve the marine environment are underway in dozens of countries. But this is a global problem and will require a global solution to bring the ocean back from the brink of irreversible decline. International collective action starting at the United Nations is the most effective way to create such a solution. For the first time, a worldwide effort to stabilize the ocean has been approved by the UN.

At the UN's Sustainable Development Summit on September, 25, 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which contained 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among them SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

The Ocean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA) has been instrumental in calling for a "stand alone" oceans SDG and the target to protect at least 10 percent of marine areas within national jurisdiction by the year 2020. This is the only numerical goal in SDG14, and it is achievable.

OSA’s short-term objective is to aid in the creation of scientifically based-marine sanctuaries and then help oversee a rigorous multi-year program to effectively implement the plan.   If this opportunity is missed, the next occasion to debate these issues at the global level will be 2030, when the damage done may be irreversible.

OSA is uniquely positioned to achieve its mission because its leadership includes state actors who can make commitments on behalf of the nations they represent. The Republic of Italy has stepped forward to take a leadership role in the effort to regenerate the fish stocks for all of humanity. Italy has created a Steering Committee which includes representatives of UN Member States, international organizations, associations and companies with a special interest and commitment in this sector.

OSA has presented a series of important events at the United Nations, bringing together marine scientists, diplomats, funders, and experts from UN agencies, with the singular objective to moving to fulfill member-states’ promise to protect the ocean. Furthermore Italy sponsored a conclave of prominent marine scientists and diplomats from around the world in Rome March 7-9 2016 to take the first steps in making a science-based marine sanctuary network a global reality.

Our coalition is growing, and OSA country supporters to date include the Republic of Italy, the Republic of Poland, The Bahamas, The Republic Kenya, the Principality of Monaco, Papua New Guinea, The Republic of Maldives, European Union, Israel, Iceland, Sweden, Australia, Nauru, Republic of Palau, Marshall Islands, and many others.

Led by President Mr. Mark Newhouse, and a diverse and unique team of Board Directors, among which is H.E. Dr. Elliston Rahming, Permanent Representative for The Bahamas, Dr. Amir Dossal, Founder and Chairman of the Global Partnerships Forum (bio) and Dr, Ellen Pikitch a leading authority on Marine Protected Areas, OSA hopes to continuously strengthen and expand this UN coalition, seize upon the growing scientific and political consensus to ensure that ocean fisheries and resources thrive for generations to come.

The window of time to secure a healthy ocean for future generations is short and quickly closing, and action is needed now.