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

3 Jul 2018 - Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to Seattle Public Utilities.

Approved
3 Jul 2018 - The Lion’s Share fund will see partners contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend to support wildlife - including marine life - around the world. 
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2 Jul 2018 - Approximately 40% of the world’s 7.6 billion people live within 62 miles (100km) of an ocean coast. For the other 60%, some of whom may never have even seen an ocean, the seas still play a vital role in their lives.

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26 Jun 2018 - One of the finalists in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Anna Du’s robot is designed to use infrared light to help us understand just how badly our oceans are being ruined with trash.

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25 Jun 2018 - Eight nations, including India, around the Bay of Bengal were brought tog

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20 Jun 2018 - This year’s World Oceans Day, observed annually on 8 June, featured the release of publications and the launch of campaigns to tackle plastic pollution.

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19 Jun 2018 - Volvo has become one of the first car manufacturers to take up the issue of plastic pollution.

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19 Jun 2018 - How citizen science informed a new study that revealed the extent of microplastic and microfiber pollution in marine ecosystems.

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8 Jun 2018 - In celebration of World Oceans Day, a global campaign is being launched by UNDP and partners to invite people from all walks of life, to volunteer to take action.

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11 Jun 2018 - The journey of plastic to the ocean is marked by opportunities to change course.

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6 Jun 2018 - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that there would be more plastic than fish by 2050 if the present trends continue.

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6 Jun 2018 - India’s Prime Minister has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022 with an immediate ban in urban Delhi.

Approved