Margaret Spring
Chief Conservation Officer and Vice President of Conservation & Science

The headlines might not show it, but 2017 was a hopeful year for the ocean. The global community forged ahead, working across sectors and borders to tackle the biggest environmental threats facing our blue planet. And the Aquarium was proud to be a part of this story.

Margaret Spring

Nations agreed to stop overfishing Pacific bluefin tuna, putting this remarkable ocean voyager on a path to recovery. In Southeast Asia—which produces an outsized share of the seafood consumed in North America—shrimp producers took on an ambitious challenge to make their aquaculture operations more sustainable.

Twenty-two U.S. aquariums stopped using disposable plastic bags and straws, doing their part to reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the ocean. Chefs spoke up to defend the sea that feeds us. More than 1 million people around the world (along with five of the Aquarium's resident penguins) celebrated the power of science to make life better. And Monterey Bay fishermen, nonprofits and government worked together for the future of local, sustainable seafood.

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we believe partnership is the new leadership. In these pages, you'll learn how we're joining with others to take action for the ocean. Everyone has a role to play, including businesses, governments, donors, researchers, non-governmental organizations and—most importantly—you. Thank you for playing your part as we work together for the health of our ocean.


Julie Packard

Together, We're Making a Difference

A healthy ocean is the key to our survival, and the ocean needs our help. I'm proud that the Monterey Bay Aquarium—with your support—has a growing role on the global stage as a leader on ocean issues. In 2017, we achieved victories that brighten the prospects for the future of the ocean.

Julie Packard

How have we been able to accomplish so much? As an aquarium, we bring together attributes that set us apart from our conservation colleagues. We support a rigorous and growing program of scientific research; we're recognized for our expertise in public policy and markets at the regional, national and international levels; and we’ve earned a high level of public trust as the most respected aquarium in the world.

In the past 12 months, we put these strengths to work to accelerate solutions to the most pressing threats to ocean health: plastic pollution, climate change, protection of critical ecosystems and the wildlife they support, and the impacts of unsustainable fisheries and aquaculture operations.

We're working with distinguished partners—in government, in the private and nonprofit sectors, in the scientific community and among our peers. We've come this far with the help of the foundations, corporate partners and individual donors who share our vision of a thriving, productive ocean. We need your support to build on the progress we've made. I'm confident that one year from now, the future of the ocean will be even brighter.

Conservation & Science Report 2017 (PDF)

  • Credits
  • © Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation