‘Fragile environment’ looks at the stresses on the ocean environment and considers the options and challenges we face for achieving sound management of ocean space in the coming decades. We need to be fully aware that the oceans’ resources have different limits to their renewability, and that marine ecosystems are profoundly fragile. The world’s population needs adequate and sustainable energy, drinking water, and food supplies. These are three of the most pressing issues of the 21st century, and for each of them the oceans hold part of the solution. But sustainability can only be achieved through a more equitable distribution of resources, a limit to excess, and firm management of the environment.