Ocean Action Hub

[ SDG Target 14.1 ] By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.

Definition

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 Jan 2020 - Do you want to know the amount of microplastic you eat - every day, every week, every year?

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30 Dec 2019 - Plastics constitute a growing threat to our environment - and in turn, human well-being - affecting the world’s freshwater systems and marine resources in particular, as well

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23 Dec 2019 - A new, binding international agreement is recommended to address the shortcomings of the global plastic waste trade and eliminate discharge of plastics into the (marine) envi

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17 Dec 2019 - The ‘Meal for Plastic’ initiative has been rolled out in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the state government’s Aahar Scheme.

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11 Dec 2019 - Indonesia has become a dumping ground for plastic from Australia, Europe and North America.

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9 Dec 2019 - The world now produces more than 380 million tonnes of plastic every year, which could end up as pollutants, entering our natural environment and oceans.

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6 Dec 2019 - UNDP, relevant national stakeholders and representatives from five schools in Honiara took part in the final validation workshop within the “Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initia

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5 Dec 2019 - Vietnam generates large amounts of waste every day but there is growing awareness and entrepreneurship in zero-waste businesses as Vietnamese people, particularly youngsters,

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5 Nov 2019 - Greenpeace calls for global action over nets, lines and traps that are deadly for marine life.

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4 Nov 2019 - Because tires are made of natural rubber and plastic, it’s easy to miss just how much they contribute to pollution in our oceans.

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1 Nov 2019 - A combination of technology and social pressure drove us toward sanitary products shot through with plastic. Is there a better solution?

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28 Oct 2019 - Governments, businesses, organizations and research institutions made commitments toward improving marine health and productivity worth more than $63 billion.

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