Rana temporaria in water surrounded by frog eggs

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Real-life mermaids of the sea

They are called mermaids: the Haenyeo women divers of Jeju Island in the Republic of Korea. Carrying on a centuries-old tradition, these remarkable women use no modern equipment while serving as guardians of the sea. Now a new generation is inheriting their legacy, which has been recognized by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of all humanity.

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Statue of a person praying located under the sea.UNEP/NOOR/Kadir van Lohuizen.

COVID-19 could help turn the tide on ocean health in Asia-Pacific

The pandemic could help turn the tide on the well-being of oceans in this region, according to a UN report published on May 2020. The study suggests that the temporary shutdown of activities due to the crisis, as well as reduced traffic on the seas and demand for marine resources, could give oceans the “much-needed breathing space” to recover from pollution, overfishing and the impacts of climate change.

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Coral reef in French Polynesia

Unimaginable beauty

With urgent action and rapid mobilisation of resources, we can work together to meet the challenge of saving our coral reefs. Launched in September 2020, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) provides a new paradigm for protection of a global ecosystem on the brink of extinction.

Sharks swimming

Promoting trade while protecting marine species

Trade in fish and other marine species, like corals, is critical for the lives and livelihoods of many communities, and demand has increased in recent decades. But global distribution is uneven, and overfishing and illegal trade are putting species at risk.

boat being pulled up with algae on the bottom

Preventing marine hitchhikers

The introduction of invasive aquatic organisms into new marine environments not only affects biodiversity and ecosystem health, but also has measurable negative effects on a number of economic sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism. Discover how this happens and measures to prevent it.