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

25 Feb 2017 - Extensive interview with the Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau on the Preparatory Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in mid February 2017 for the United Nations Ocean Conference

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23 Feb 2017 - Computer firm Dell has achieved a new first for the technology industry, after converting waste plastic found on beaches and in waterways into new packaging for one of its la

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23 Feb 2017 - A team of artists, scientists, activists, and filmmakers took a recent expedition from Bali to Komodo Island to document plastic pollution in the region.

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22 Feb 2017 - By pulling plastics out of the ocean and recycling them in a commercially viable way, they hope to keep harmful micro plastics from troubling ocean waters.

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22 Feb 2017 - Particles of debris from car tyres are ending up in the ocean as "plastic soup", conservationists warn.

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UN Environment's #CleanSeas initiative aims to eliminate single-use plastic bags and microplastics in cosmetic products by 2020. Pledge your commitment here!

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20 Feb 2017 - Surfers Against Sewage's (SAS) 'Message in A Bottle' campaign is expected to pass the 250,000 milestone by the time it is discussed in the UK Parliament in May.

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17 December 2017 - A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters of them are littered with tiny plastic pellets.

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Ivan Zavadsky, Executive Secretary, International Commission for the Protection...
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14 Feb 2017 - Kim Bernard uses trash from local beaches to create a sculpture called “Clean Ocean Waves” to raise awareness about ocean pollution

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13 February 2017 - If current rates of economic growth were to continue, by 2025 the cumulative plastic waste dumped in the sea could reach 155m tonnes, according to a study.

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13 February 2017 - Presence of manmade chemicals in most remote place on planet shows nowhere is safe from human impact, say scientists

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