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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

24 April 2018 - 541 individual commitments include the provision of financial resources, with total financing amounting to approximately US$25.5 billion.

Approved

23 Apr 2018 - Harmful chemicals from sunscreen can leach into the ocean and damage coral. Here are some sun-blocking alternatives.

Approved

20 Apr 2018 - Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April since 1970.  This international day reminds us about the interdependence between natural ecosystems and human life.

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19 Apr 2018 - Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea every year - equal to a rubbish truck every minute.

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18 Apr 2018 - The second meeting of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations (RSOs) and Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) on Accelerating Prog

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18 Apr 2018 - Warming events prompt scientists to look at ecological, genetic, and engineering interventions.

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16 Apr 2018 - Two billion people around the world lack access to effective waste collection so much of the plastic they use ends up in our oceans.

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UNDP and the Smithsonian Institution held an online event celebrating #EarthOptimism2018 and our ocean.
Event Date:
20/04/2018 -
11:00 to 12:30
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12 Apr 2018 - Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit focusing on marine conservation, has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of the overwhelming plastic pollution of the ocean.

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11 Apr 2018 - Belize was criticized for putting its stunning coral reefs and other marine resources at risk. The country responded with innovative solutions.

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6 Apr 2018 - Plastic. A truck load of the moldable, powerful, indestructible stuff is dumped into our oceans every minute.

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5 Apr 2018 - Niantic, Inc. and Playmob are teaming up to host the first ever Pokémon GO Earth Day Clean Up on April 22.

Approved