This goal assesses how well countries are maximizing the sustainable harvest of non-food marine resources.
The current score indicates that many regions have potential to improve sustainable harvests of natural products, either by eliminating overharvesting, increasing harvests that are too low, or reducing the pressures that decrease potential harvests.
Despite the relatively good global score, trends in Natural Products are decreasing. This decline is likely due to the decreasing sustainability of forage fisheries, which largely drive the Natural Products scores due to the large amount of harvest compared to seaweeds and ornamental fish in many regions.
However, there are regions which aren’t driven by forage fisheries and have increased their Natural Products score. For instance, both China and Indonesia lead the world in seaweed mariculture production (accounting for ~87% of seaweed production included in our assessment for 2020), increasing their production each year. Seaweed mariculture is also generally sustainable. Because of this both regions scores have improved greatly since 2012.
Within recent years we have seen a higher level of volatility in global scores as the lowest and highest goal scores have been recorded in the last three years. We believe this was due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the industry and trade of natural products. Since the COVID shock the global score has rebounded and is now at its highest level on record.