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

Eight million tons. That’s a lot of plastic to swallow, and a lot of straws to bear even if you’re the world’s oceans (yes, who knew we use 300 million plastic straws a day?).

Official
The Blue Planning training course aims to strengthen practical planning and...
Approved

Going green is easier than you think. There are little things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and make a less harmful impact on the environment.

Official

The global ocean community has generated a wealth of innovative, practical, “on-the-ground” solutions which successfully help to overcome challenges to healthy ecosystems, sustainable

Official

On June 22nd 2016, The Ocean Cleanup unveiled its Prototype in Scheveningen harbor, the Netherlands. 

Official

Plastic is a huge problem in the oceans, but engineers and research groups are working on how to deal with it. Hank describes some of the leading proposed solutions. 

Official

05-jun-2016 - En el marco de la conmemoración del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, se realizó el cierre de la campaña de limpieza más grande en Guatemala, Limpiemos Nuestra Guatemala 2016.

Approved
This report presents a compelling opportunity to increase the system...
Official
50 success stories of technical, scientific and policy solutions for oceans,...
Approved

Did you know that a staggering 250 million metric tons of plastic could make its way to the ocean in the next 10 years?

Official

We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Emma Bryce traces the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present to our world.

Official