The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind.
Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation.
Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.
- Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by volume.
- Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
- Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 per cent of global GDP.
- Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.
- Oceans absorb about 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
- Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 2.6 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein.
- Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people.
- Subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore global fisheries and related jobs, causing ocean fisheries to generate US$ 50 billion less per year than they could.
- As much as 40 per cent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.
- UN Secretary-General to Launch Oceans Compact at Yeosu International Conference
- Protecting coastal and marine ecosystems along the sub-Saharan African coastline
- FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture
- UNEP Ecosystem Management
- Convention on Biological Diversity
- UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
- UNDP Water and Ocean governance
- UN Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea
- UNESCO -- Rio+20
Do you have a vision of a world with healthy and clean oceans? Are you looking for ideas to protect marine life?
Then join the global conversation and connect on Twitter using #futurewewant