Ocean Action Hub

Countdown Block

Let the world know what you're doing to #SAVEOUROCEAN! Register your commitment

[ SDG 14.1 ] By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.

CONTEXT: Nutrient pollution loads to the oceans have tripled since pre-industrial times leading to exponential growth in eutrophication and the occurrence of hypoxic (low oxygen) areas, now numbering over 500 and causing hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage annually. Of the 300 million mt of plastics produced globally each year, some 8-20 million mt gets into the oceans causing a range of negative impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems. UNEP estimate the annual damage from marine plastics at $13 billion per year and growing.  SDG 14.1 calls for substantial reductions in the release to the oceans of these and other pollutants.

INDICATOR 14.1.1: Index of coastal eutrophication and floating plastic debris density

Global map of areas facing hypoxia and eutrophication

Global map of ocean plastic concentrations:

Concentrations-of-plastic-debris-in-surface-waters-of-the-global-ocean

SOURCE: Cozar et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 15, 2014 vol. 111 no. 28 10239-10244

[ SDG 14.2 ] By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.

CONTEXT: Globally, some 20% of coral reefs, 19% of mangroves and 29% of seagrass habitat have been lost over about the last century. To preserve these and other critical coastal habitats, management of marine areas needs to apply ecosystem-based approaches using area-based tools such as Marine Protected Areas, Integrated Coastal Management, Marine Spatial Planning and the Large Marine Ecosystem approach. SDG 14.2 seeks to increase the proportion of national Exclusive Economic Zones that are managed using an ecosystem-based approach.

INDICATOR 14.2.1: Proportion of national exclusive economic zones managed using ecosystem-based approaches

Loss of key coastal habitats – corals, seagrasses, mangroves

Global map indicating changes in seagrass area plotted by coastline regions:

Global map indicating changes in seagrass area plotted by coastline regions

SOURCE: Waycott et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 28, 2009 vol. 106 no. 30 12377-12381

Proportion of Threatened (Critically Endangered,Endangered, and Vulnerable) Mangrove Species:

Global map indicating changes in seagrass area plotted by coastline regions

Mangrove loss by region:

Mangrove loss by region

Threats to Coral Reefs:

Mangrove loss by region

[ SDG 14.3 ] Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.

CONTEXT: About 30% of the carbon dioxide released by anthropogenic combustion of fossil fuels dissolves in the ocean forming carbonic acid. As a result, the ocean is acidifying at the fastest rate in at least 30 million years; average ocean pH has already dropped 0.1 unit and is projected to fall another 0.3-0.4 units in the 'business as usual' CO2 emission scenario. This increasing ocean acidity has negative impacts on organisms that fix calcium carbonate in their shells/skeletons and on the metabolic and reproductive functions of many economically important marine species. SDG 14.3 calls on the world to minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification.

INDICATOR 14.3.1: Average marine acidity (pH) measured at agreed suite of representative sampling stations

Change in sea surface pH since 1700s:

Mangrove loss by region

SOURCE: Global Ocean Data Analysis Project (GLODAP)

[ SDG 14.4 ] By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.

CONTEXT: About 30% of the world's fish stocks are considered overexploited representing economic losses estimated by FAO/WB at $50 billion/year. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing affects about 20% of global fish catch, estimated at $23 billion/year. SDG 14.4 calls on fishing all stocks at biologically sustainable levels by 2020 and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

INDICATOR 14.4.1: Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels

Status of global fish stocks:

Mangrove loss by region

SOURCE: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Estimated illegal fish catch as percentage of total catch:

Mangrove loss by region

[ SDG 14.5 ] By 2020, conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.

CONTEXT: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) help to preserve biodiversity, maintain fish stocks, and sustain coastal economies and livelihoods that depend on healthy marine ecosystems. SDG 14.5 calls for putting at least 10% of the world ocean under MPA by 2020; as of end 2016, this figure stood at about 3.9%.

INDICATOR 14.5.1: Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas

Global map of Marine Protected Areas (Sept 2016):

Global map of Marine Protected Areas (Sept 2016)

Progress on MPA targets through 2014:

Progress on MPA targets through 2014:

[ SDG 14.6 ] By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation.

CONTEXT: Currently, about $16 billion per year is spent on 'destructive' fish subsidies (ship fuels, boat construction and renovation, tax breaks, other transfers) that lead to overfishing. SDG 14.6 calls on the international community to eliminate such subsidies by 2020.

INDICATOR 14.6.1: Progress by countries in the degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Global breakdown of fisheries subsidies (Sumaila et al., 2010):

Global breakdown of fisheries subsidies

[ SDG 14.7 ] By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island Developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

CONTEXT: Fisheries and tourism represent 7% and 50%, respectively, of SIDS exports so are vital to their economies, livelihoods and government budgets. About 60% of SIDS fisheries are considered overfished leading to realization of only 48% of the potential economic benefits. SDG14.7 calls on the international community to support efforts to increase the economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs from their marine resources.

INDICATOR 14.7.1: Sustainable fisheries as a percentage of GDP in small island developing States, least developed countries and all countries

Economic benefits to SIDS from marine resources:

Economic benefits to SIDS from marine resources

the-importance-of-fish-for-selected-sids

[ SDG 14.a ] Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States and least developed countries.

CONTEXT: Developing countries, especially SIDS and LDCs, require improved knowledge, research capacity and technology to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to their development. SDG14.a calls on increasing support in each of these areas.

INDICATOR 14.a.1: Proportion of total research budget allocated to research in the field of marine technology

Number of Researchers per million inhabitants by Country (average 2009-2013):

Average national ocean science researcher (Headcount - HC) employed per million inhabitants (2009-2013). The presented information deviates for: Norway and the United States of America data represent full time equivalent (FTE) ocean research positions, Canada provided HC for Fisheries and Ocean Canada (DFO), Spain HC for the Spanish Institute of Oceanography.

Ocean Science Citation World Map

Citation map of the world where the area of each country is scaled and deformed according to the number of ocean science citations received, which is also represented by the colour of each country. Darker colour indicate more publications or citations.

( SDG 14.b ) Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.

CONTEXT: Small-scale fisheries provide about 1/2 the world's seafood product and employ 90% of those employed in the sector. Small-scale fisheries are disadvantaged by much greater subsidies to large scale, lack of co-management arrangements, lack of access to markets even domestically, and lack of pricing power. SDG 14.b calls for improving access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.

INDICATOR 14.b.1: Progress by countries in the degree of application of a legal/regulatory/policy/institutional framework which recognizes and protects access rights for small-scale fisheries

Comparison of Small Scale vs. Large Scale Fisheries:

Comparison of Small Scale vs. Large Scale Fisheries (Pauly et al.)

SOURCE: Jacquet, J. and Pauly, D. (2008), Funding Priorities: Big Barriers to Small-Scale Fisheries. Conservation Biology, 22: 832–835. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00978.x

[ SDG 14.c ] Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want.

Context: SDG 14.c recognizes the critical importance of implementing existing international and regional law (UNCLOS, Regional Seas Conventions, CBD, Stockholm Convention, IMO & ILO Conventions, etc.) as part of the means of implementation of SDG14.

INDICATOR 14.c.1: Number of countries making progress in ratifying, accepting and implementing through legal, policy and institutional frameworks, ocean-related instruments that implement international law, as reflected in the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea, for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources