Climate change is global phenomenon. The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the earth habitable for humankind. How we manage this vital resource is essential for humanity.
Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Today, however, 30 per cent of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited and have fallen below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields.
Oceans absorb about 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, ocean acidification has risen by 26 per cent since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Marine pollution – an overwhelming majority of which comes from land-based sources – is reaching alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter found on every square kilometer of ocean.
The SDGs aim protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, and address the impacts of ocean acidification. International legislation to conserve and use of ocean-based resources more efficiently, will also help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans.