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. SDG 14.1 calls for the prevention and significant reduction of marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025.

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

12 Sept 2019 - The ocean’s health is in trouble. 

Approved

11 Sept 2019 - Sarah Ferguson is creating awareness about plastic pollution one stroke at a time.

Approved
9 Sept 2019 - The campaign encourages Thai consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics at grocery stores, eateries and cafes across the country.
Approved

5 Sept 2019 - A million volunteer-strong beach clean-up effort spanned 120 countries; it also turned up an artificial Christmas tree and a typewriter.

Approved

29 Aug 2019 - To prevent several millions tons of plastic from flushing into the ocean every year, engineers are paving roads with it.

Approved

21 Aug 2019 - This week the United Nations is meeting to negotiate a treaty that would protect the open ocean by 2030 from climate change, pollution and over-exploitation.

Approved

19 Aug 2019 - Kristin Hugo - If you care about the environment, it’s time to start talking about the 640,000 tons of discarded fishing gear killing ocean creatures.

Approved

16 Aug 2019 - High nutrient levels in 2018 resulted in a nearly 9,000-kilometer belt of Sargassum, a seaweed critical to many marine animals but also a nuisance when it washes up on shorel

Approved

9 Aug 2019 - BBC - Plastics, arsenic, lead and nicotine from butts can all harm marine life. Just one per litre of water can be highly toxic to fish, research suggests.

Approved

8 Aug 2019 - The Guardian - India’s most sacred river is also its most polluted, with plastic a major culprit. A new effort will monitor its flow to the ocean and assess poverty linkages.

Approved

6 Aug 2019 - NatGeo - Few marine organisms can survive the toxic low-oxygen conditions of dead zones. Here’s how our agricultural practices make them worse.

Approved

5 Aug 2019 - A teenager from Ireland may have found a way to rescue our oceans from the growing plastic pollution problem.

Approved