“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources” United Nations
I wanted to pick a picture of a cute baby turtle for the feature picture for this article but despite its adorable face it didn’t really show the problem our oceans are faced with.
More than 50% of your body is made up of water. Around 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and about 96% of this water is in the ocean. Water can also be found in the air, glaciers, ice caps, lakes, rivers and moisture in the ground. I think we can take from these facts that water is one of THE most important things on our earth and yet it is suffering on a colossal scale. This article is going to be different to the others as I think the issue of our water life can be told better with images. Some are shocking, some are sad and some are just plain devastating.
“Oceans provide key natural resources including food, medicines, biofuels and other products. They help with the breakdown and removal of waste and pollution, and their coastal ecosystems act as buffers to reduce damage from storms.” United Nations “Oceans: Why They Matter”
Not only does the sea support our environment far more than we can appreciate but the sea and beach themselves are a massive part of tourism which is a major provider of the worlds finance. In 2015 travels and tourism generated $7.6 trillion and provided 277 million jobs. The reasons for supporting “Life Below Water” are many and each and everyone of us can be doing our bit to make a difference.
1. By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
2. By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
3. Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
4. By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
5. By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
6. By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
7. By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
8. Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission 9. Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
10. Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
(Info on targets taken from UN Org)
As always, if you would like to learn more about Goal 14 and its progress then please go to UN Org