Opening Remarks from Senator John Kerry include statements regarding the dire need of action today for Global Ocean Innovations: So for me, and I know for you, for literally billions of people around the world, that connection with the ocean is not just emotional, not just a question of admiring something glorious and unique, it is also existential. To put it simply, the ocean is essential to all life on Earth. It is responsible for almost 50 percent of the oxygen that we breathe, for the food that we eat, for the climate in which we live, for the employment of hundreds of millions of people around the planet. The origin of life on our planet can be traced to the sea, and today the ocean is also the economic lifeblood of communities big and small on every single corner of the world, employing roughly 12 percent of the world’s population. Global revenue from marine fisheries and from related industries is in the hundreds of billions of dollars every single year.But despite our knowledge and appreciation of the oceans’ importance, despite the inexorable link between the ocean and our variability to exist, we – humans – have been systematically undermining the ability of the maritime environment to nurture, perhaps even survive and sustain life. For decades, even centuries, we have been polluting and pillaging the resources of the sea with devastating consequences for our coastal communities and our marine ecosystems.Why, against our own interest, is this happening? Well, there are probably a lot of reasons, but one big part of the reason is traced to the sheer enormity of the ocean. The landmass of every continent combined is smaller than the Pacific Ocean alone. Confronted by a resource so vast, it is really difficult to wrap one’s head around the notion, the idea that we as human beings could actually do something to threaten the oceans’ future. When we order seafood in a restaurant, it’s usually not written on the menu that a third of the world’s fisheries and fish stocks are overfished, or that nearly all the rest are being fished at absolute maximum. It’s no wonder that most people don’t realize that illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing costs the world tens of billions of dollars a year and is linked to organized crime, drug trafficking, and gross human rights violations.