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Critical Condition: Ocean Health and Human Health

Ocean on the Edge Reports

This report explores the interconnectedness of ocean health and human health. The ocean provides benefits to human health including controlling our climate, providing a rich source of healthy protein, providing a source for new medicines, and providing recreational and aesthetic benefits. Yet the ocean also harbors marine toxins and disease causing agents. Human actions are adversely impacting the ocean, increasing these risks and despoiling the beneficial ocean resources. This report explores these concepts and describes some of the actions being taken to mitigate the risks.

In May 2009, the Aquarium brought together a group of leading marine scientists, informal educators, communicators, exhibit designers, and public policy experts to identify and explore major ocean issues and to develop documents and strategies to engage the public in these issues.

Support for the conference was provided by NOAA, NSF, Southern California Edison, the Marine Conservation Research Institute of the Aquarium of the Pacific, Kings Seafood, and Santa Monica Seafood.

The first four reports—(1) Coastal Hazards, (2) Ecosystems and Fisheries, (3) Critical Condition: Ocean Health and Human Health, and (4) Pollution—are based very loosely on booklets in the National Academies Ocean Science Series which can be found at Other reports based upon the conference will be added to this Aquarium of the Pacific website.

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