The Ocean: Everybody’s Business
The Ocean is probably the biggest business in the world. It provides half the oxygen we breathe, it has absorbed a quarter of our CO2 emissions, and puts food on our plates.
But the Ocean is in danger. You may not be able to see it from above the surface, but the threats are many and the risks are real: plastics are choking our sea life; pollution is causing ‘dead zones’; our corals are dying; climate change is heating our Ocean, making it more acidic; and too many boats are chasing fewer and fewer fish.
Only 3% of the Ocean is currently under some form of protection, and much of the remaining 97% suffers from poor management.
Yet it’s not too late to solve this crisis. The Ocean is amazingly resilient and could recover, but it needs each and every one of us to play a part.
Governments, Businesses and Citizens
In June 2017, the UN will be holding a week-long conference focused on the Ocean Sustainable Development Goal – SDG14: Life below water.
Implementing SDG14 can help reverse the decline in the health of our Ocean – for people, for the planet and for global prosperity. But we need everyone, everywhere, to make the Ocean their business and ensure it’s ‘voice’ is heard.
The SDG14 targets are focused on:
- reducing sea pollution
- protecting and nurturing all sea life so that the ocean can continue to support us
- reducing the damage caused by ocean acidification, which results from CO2
- looking after stocks of fish so that they continue to feed us into the future
- using scientific knowledge and existing laws to protect life in the most vulnerable areas of the seas
- stopping governments supporting overfishing and illegal fishing though their use of fisheries subsidies
- helping the poorest countries use the sea’s resources wisely so that it brings them benefits well into the future
- improving scientific understanding of the ocean, to maximise its health and contribution to world economies
- helping local fisherman have their share
- making sure that existing laws are used to conserve ocean resources and make new ones to close the gaps
Governments, businesses and the general public can get involved and help to reverse the Ocean's decline:
- Look after stocks of fish so that they continue to feed us into the future. Get to know your seafood – download a sustainable seafood guide for your country and ask questions of your fishmonger.
- Reduce plastic pollution in the ocean by taking the #Oneless pledge and ditching single-use plastic water bottles.
- Reduce the damage caused by ocean acidification, which results from CO2. Reduce your carbon impact by cutting down on plane travel, and if you need to travel then offset your carbon impact by investing in the protection of seagrass beds that are highly effective in sequestering carbon.
- Reduce the damage caused by ocean acidification, which results from CO2. Take action to reduce carbon emissions that are harming the planet and acidifying our Ocean. Commit to a carbon neutral future, like the B-team companies http://bteam.org/planb/#restore-nature
- Protect and nurture all sea life by supporting the campaign to strongly protect at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030. Invest in Ocean conservation to promote a healthy Ocean #OceanSummit. It is definitely a smart investment, with high returns in terms of jobs, fish and improved services.
- Make Ocean Business your Business. Take the blue pledge.
- Ensure that existing laws are used to conserve Ocean resources and enact new ones to close the gaps. Support the development of a strong new UN High Seas Agreement to protect marine biodiversity in 2017.
- Protect and nurture all sea life by supporting the campaign to strongly protect at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030. Follow the science and take inspiration from other recent large-scale Ocean protection announcements to establish a network of large-scale marine protected areas in your own waters.
- Ensure you meet, or even exceed, the SDG14 targets, and update the United Nations on an annual basis as to your progress.
Please visit our Take Action page to find out how you can be part of the solution.