Today the world’s oceans face a number of threats. Climate change, overfishing, and pollution put numerous species in danger and may eliminate some of the world’s most popular food sources. Fortunately, there are many organizations that work to protect the oceans. Below is a list of some of the top organizations that are worth supporting through donations or volunteer action.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd is famous for chasing Japanese whalers as well as protesting the Taiji dolphin hunts. The organization began its work in 1977. Their mission “is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species” (Who We Are). There are a number of ways you can get involved including becoming a crew member aboard a ship. Learn more about the organization by visiting their official site.

Oceanic Preservation Society

The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) was founded in 2005 by Louie Psihoyos, a photographer, and Jim Clark, an entrepreneur. In 2009 the organization released The Cove, a documentary that brought increased awareness to dolphin hunting in Japan. While the film received criticism for its use of secret filming and its depiction of the Japanese, it won many awards including an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. OPS released their second film, Racing Extinction, in 2015. Follow the OPS blog to keep up with environmental news and learn how you can help.

Institute for Ocean Conservation Science

The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science’s mission is “to advance ocean conservation through science” (Our Mission). Some of the institute’s projects include studying sharks, sturgeon, and fisheries management. As a result of their research, the institute has been able to improve ocean policy and restrict trade that is harmful to sharks. Visit this page to learn how you can contribute.


Oceana is the largest ocean conservation organization in the world. The organization focuses on using science to change ocean policy. Oceana notes that it “has won more than 100 victories and protected more than one million square miles of ocean” since it started its work. Its most recent victory was a deep-sea trawling ban. Learn more about that victory by reading the press release. Oceana has a section on its site called Living Blue. Check out their “10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans” to learn about the steps you can take to protect the oceans.