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

29 Apr 2019 - The plastic pollution that end up in the Earth's oceans is costing world governments as much as $2.5 trillion a year.

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19 Apr 2019 - Shampoo, lotion, deodorant: They all come swathed in plastic. But some companies are trying to change that.

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10 Apr 2019 - An article published in Marine Pollution Bulletin takes a first step at calculating the cost of marine plastic pollution and finds that all ecosystem services are im

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2 Apr 2019 - Home to almost 20 million residents, the state will ban most single-use plastic bags provided by supermarkets and other stores starting in March 2020. 

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27 Mar 2019 - A major five-year IMO-UNDP-GEF project to address bioinvasions by organisms which can build up on ships’ hulls and other marine structures launched.

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21 Mar 2019 - This week, Conservation International is co-hosting the Blue Oceans Conference to bring attention to ocean conservation issues in Africa, with the Governments of Liberia and Sweden.

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20 Mar 2019 - American multinational SC Johnson plans to launch a container made entirely of recycled plastic collected on the shores of Mexico and Haiti.

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19 Mar 2019 - Compete for a share of $1.5 million in awards and investment.

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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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18 Mar 2019 - This report provides recommendations, advice and practical...
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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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