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Land-based sources (such as agricultural run-off, discharge of nutrients and pesticides and untreated sewage including plastics) account for approximately 80% of marine pollution, globally. Marine habitats worldwide are contaminated with man-made debris. Oil spills remain a concern, though actual spills have decreased steadily for several decades.

Excessive nutrients from sewage outfalls and agricultural runoff have contributed to the increasing incidence of low oxygen (hypoxic) areas known as dead zones, where most marine life cannot survive, resulting in the collapse of some ecosystems. There are now close to 500 dead zones with a total global surface area of over 245,000 km², roughly equivalent to that of the United Kingdom. The excess nitrogen can also stimulate the proliferation of seaweeds and microorganisms and cause algal blooms. Such blooms can be harmful (HABs), causing massive fish kills, contaminating seafood with toxins and altering ecosystems.

Litter can accumulate in huge floating garbage patches or wash up on the coasts. Light, resistant plastics float in the Ocean, releasing contaminants as they break down into micro-particles that animals mistake for food. Fish and birds can choke on these particles, get sick as they accumulate toxins in their stomachs, or become entangled in larger debris.

As the world saw in 2010, the Gulf of Mexico deep-water oil spill had a devastating effect on the entire marine ecosystem, as well as the populations that depend on the marine areas for their livelihoods. Smaller oil spills happen every day, due to drilling incidents or leaking motors, negatively impacting birds, marine mammals, algae, fish and shellfish.

SOURCE: UNESCO website

Latest

16 Aug 2017 - Behavioural evidence suggests marine organisms are not just ingesting microplastics by accident but actively seeking them out as food.

Approved

11 Aug 2017 - It’s no fluke: Fish populations are on the move, chasing cooler marine temperatures. At Rutgers, scientists track their alarming migrations.

Approved

9 Aug 2017 - PARTNERSHIP is one of the cornerstones for successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Approved

In June 2017, the United Nations hosted the first Ocean Conference to solidify a global approach for the management and conservation of the oceans.

Approved

31 July 2017 - A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict wi

Approved

28 Jul 2017 - ¿Cómo se diseña una Política Oceánica que respalde la conservación de los mares y el uso sostenible de los recursos que provee? Esa fue la pregunta que articuló el taller internacional organizado por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (MINREL) con apoyo del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) en Chile, que contó con la asistencia de expertos y representantes diplomáticos procedentes de Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Nueva Zelandia y Perú el pasado 27 de julio en Santiago.

Approved

27 July 2017 - A largely unstudied area of the South Pacific Ocean is home to a newly discovered garbage patch that researchers estimate to be 1.5 times the size of Texas, according to a r

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21 July 2017 - Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface and account for 97 percent of

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21 July 2017 - Costa Rica has ambitious and innovative plans to boost gains on the economic and social fronts while protecting the environment.

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During the UN Ocean Conference on 5-9 June 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York, the national government and other organizations in Cape

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17 July 2017 - High level representatives of governments, the finance sector, the [re]insurance industry, and other sectors will consider specific risks posed by changes in the world’s oce

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13 July 2017 - New initiative covers a wide swathe of research interests, including climate, marine litter, ocean observation, food security, fisheries management, and ocean technology.

Approved