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

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19 Mar 2019 - At UN Environment Assembley in Nairobi delegates pledge to protect polluted, degraded planet as it adopts blueprint for more sustainable future.

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18 Mar 2019 - The Infinitum bottle deposit hub recycles 97 per cent of Norway’s plastic drinks bottles. Should the world follow suit to help tackle the menace of plastic pollution?

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This report provides recommendations, advice and practical guidance, for...
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14 Mar 2019 - A new set of publicly-available guidelines for monitoring plastic in the oceans is expected to help harmonize how the scale of the issue is assessed. 

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12 Mar 2019 - Countries set their sights on a pivotal deal to curb plastic waste, source of long-term pollution and worsening contamination of the ocean's food chain.

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12 Mar 2019 - Published by UNDP Maldives, the magazine focuses on the...
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On 8 June every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean.

Event Date:
08/06/2019 - 08:00 to 20:00
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5 March 2019 - From coral bleaching to acidification, Newsweek discusses 15 of the biggest threats facing the oceans today—as well as what we can do about them.

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28 Feb 2019 - Finds that if the scale of commitments continues to rise in a similar manner to 2016-2018 and funding is secured, there will be a positive trend towards reductions in marine litte

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27 Feb 2019 - Plastics are an increasing cause of concern due to potential sources of chemicals that disrupt hormones and affect the growth and reproductive success of a wide variety of wi

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21 Feb 2019 - Meet Manal and read her story. She joined our Ocean Action Campaign as a volunteer in September and focused her activities back to her roots in Lebanon.

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20 Feb 2019 - While marine plastic pollution has garnered the world’s attention with the visuals of giant gyres of plastic and soupy layers of microplastics, it is the invisible and persistent pollutants contaminating the marine environment and hitchhiking on plastics that have created a toxic timebomb. 

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