United Nations
Global Industry Programs to Address Transboundary, Multi-Sectoral Ocean Pollution, including Plastics/Shipborne Wastes, Biofouling/Invasive Species, Marine Sound
by World Ocean Council (Private sector)
Numerous marine pollution issues are global and cross-sectoral in nature, creating challenges in understanding and tackling them effectively. Key forms of transboundary, multi-sectoral marine pollution include: shipborne solid wastes (including plastics), invasive species from biofouling, and marine sound.

An international, multi-industry and mutli-stakeholder approach is needed to address these forms of global, transboundary, multi-sectoral pollution. A collaborative effort creates opportunities for dialogue, synergies, economies of scale and public/private partnerships. Such an approach will best be able to identify the priorities for the research, development and testing of solutions that are practical, effective and can be implemented by the industries whose activities generate the pollution. A coalition of interested parties focused can also address policy and regulation development and other efforts needed to reduce these forms of pollution.

The WOC commits to establishing by 2019 a series of international, multi-industry ocean issue platforms to address these three key forms of transboundary ocean pollution and facilitating the operation of these platforms over at least a 5-year period.

The ocean issue platforms will create the ongoing structure and process to:
1. Bring together key stakeholders (e.g. industry, science, government, intergovernmental organizations, environment NGOs).
2. Catalyze collaboration among ocean industries and with other stakeholders on each of these types of pollution.
3. Coordinate development of a shared priorities and agenda for action.
4. Work to advance practical, cost-effective solutions, practices, policies and regulation to reduce the pollution at it source based on good science and risk assessment.

Each global ocean issue platform will develop the workplans and identify priorities relevant to the specific form of pollution being addressed, e.g.
Shipborne solid wastes (including plastics): Efforts will likely focus on the need to develop a global network of adequate port reception facilities, especially in less developed countries.
Marine sound: Priorities identified by the multi-stakeholder platform may focus on the need to accelerate research and development of operational quieting technology and practices to reduce ocean noise in the sectors that contribute most to ocean noise.
Biofouling/invasive species: Priorities will likely include identifying research priorities for environmentally sound anti-fouling coatings that address the needs of a wide range of sectors, i.e. shipping, fishing, and other vessel-based industries, as well as aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, marine science and observations.

Each global ocean issue platform will convene at the annual WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS). The progress and outputs of each platform will be measured against criteria such as:
The number and diversity of industry sectors and other stakeholders involved participating in the platform and developing the shared agenda.
The development of action plans to address each form of pollution.
The resources harnessed and the number of initiatives implemented under the action plan.
The reduction in the distribution and levels of each form of pollution.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Port reception facilities ship borne solid wastes, including plastics
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse:
  • Other (please specify): Port reception facilities for ship borne wastes and residues
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction:
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management:
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Other (please specify): Marine sound (ocean noise)
December 2019
Three global, multi-stakeholder ocean issue platforms established to address: shipborne wastes, invasive species from biofouling, marine sound
December 2020
Action plans to tackle marine pollution from shipborne wastes, invasive species from biofouling and marine sound
December 2025
Progress in reducing these forms of marine pollution
Staff / Technical expertise
WOC secretariat staff, WOC member personnel and WOC network participants working to establish and participate in the ocean issue platforms
Basic information
Time-frame: January 2018 - December 2024
World Ocean Council member companies and industry associations, and ocean business community participants in the WOC network
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Paul Holthus, Founding President and CEO, paul.holthus@oceancouncil.org, +18082779008
Other SDGs
United Nations