Ocean Action Hub

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

8 Nov 2018 - The Guardian Australia - Pacific Explorer cruise ship spilled liquid food waste into reef’s protected waters

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30 Oct 2018 - Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, and Tesco, the U.K.’s biggest supermarket chain, joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali,

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24 Oct 2018 - Cora Ball’s solution is built to be elegant and prevent us from ultimately "eating our fleece, our yoga pants and our gym clothes."

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24 Oct 2018 - The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.

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19 Oct 2018 - Despite the pretty postcards of blue lagoons and white sand beaches it's a country for which many of the SDGs are extremely urgent.

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17 Oct 2018 - The Ocean Cleanup foundation has taken on the mission of clearing all plastic from the”Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a giant trash pile located between Hawaii and San Francisco.

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9 Oct 2018 - Hindu temples in southern India are taking a stand against single-use plastic. Other faiths are taking notice.

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2 Oct 2018Recent research suggests that more can be done to grasp the effects of plastics and other refuse on sea turtles.

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1 Oct 2018 - The World Bank has launched its new Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2018, presenting maps, charts, and stories related to the 

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7 Sep 2018 - They organized a Children’s Clean Ocean Summit at the United Nations in Vienna (titled The Last Whale) so they could decide for themselves what must be done and share their perspectives with the world.

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6 Sep 2018 - The World Bank launched the first in a series of bonds designed to raise awareness about the importance of ocean and water resources.

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31 Aug 2018 - Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world.

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