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Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal

biodiversity for their livelihood

To conserve
and sustainably
use the world’s
ocean, seas, and
marine resources.

                                   Oceans are our planet’s life support and regulate the global climate

                                system. They are the world’s largest ecosystem, home to nearly a million

                            known species and containing the vast untapped potential for scientific


                 Oceans and fisheries continue to support the global population’s economic, social    

              and environmental needs. Despite the critical importance of conserving oceans,  

           decades of irresponsible exploitation have led to an alarming level of degradation. 


      Current efforts to protect key marine environments and small-scale fisheries, and to invest

  in the ocean, science is not yet meeting the urgent need to safeguard this vast, yet fragile, resource.


       The drastic reduction in human activity brought about by the COVID- 19 crisis, while rooted in 

             tragedy, is a chance for oceans to recuperate. It is also an opportunity to chart a   

                                    sustainable recovery path that will ensure livelihoods for decades to come

                                      in harmony with the natural environment.


So what’s the problem?

The ocean absorbs around 23 percent of annual CO2 emissions

generated by human activity and helps mitigate the impacts of

climate change. The ocean has also absorbed more than 90% of the

excess heat in the climate system.


Ocean heat is at record levels, causing widespread marine

heatwaves, threatening its rich eco-systems, and killing coral reefs

around the world.

Increasing levels of debris in the world’s oceans are also having a major

environmental and economic impact. Every year, an estimated 5 to 12 million

metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean, costing roughly $13 billion per year –

including clean-up costs and financial losses in fisheries and other industries.

About 89% of plastic litter found on the ocean floor are single-use items like

plastic bags.

About 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas. The ocean-related tourism industry grows an estimated US$ 134 billion per year and in some countries, the industry already supports over a third of the labor force. Unless carefully managed, tourism can pose a major threat to the natural resources on which it depends, and to local culture and industry.

So what can we do?

For open ocean and deep sea areas, sustainability

can be achieved only through increased internati

onal cooperation to protect vulnerable habitats.

Establishing comprehensive, effective and

equitably managed systems of government-protected

areas should be pursued to conserve bio- diversity and

ensure a sustainable future for the fishing industry.


On a local level, we should make ocean-friendly choices when buying products or eating food derived from oceans and consume only what we need. Selecting certified products is a good place to start.

Most importantly, we can spread the message about how important marine life is and why we need to protect it.

We should eliminate plastic

usage as much as possible and organize beach clean-ups.


How is the

to our

                        The health of the ocean is intimately

                        tied to our health. According to 

                            UNESCO, the ocean can be an ally

                        against COVID- 19 – bacteria found

                          in the depths of  the ocean are

                         used to carry out rapid testing to

                       detect the presence of COVID-19.

                       And the diversity of species

                   found in the ocean offers great promise

              for pharmaceuticals.

          Furthermore, marine fisheries provide   

     57 million jobs globally and provide the

primary source of protein for over 50%

of the population in the least developed countries.

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