Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
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
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
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
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
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
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
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission 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
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
Progress of goal 14
- Oceans, along with coastal and marine resources, play an essential role in human well-being and social and economic development worldwide. They are particularly crucial for people living in coastal communities, who represented 37 per cent of the global population in 2010. Oceans provide livelihoods and tourism benefits, as well as subsistence and income. They also help regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protecting coastal areas from flooding and erosion. In fact, coastal and marine resources contribute an estimated $28 trillion to the global economy each year through ecosystem services. However, those resources are extremely vulnerable to environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution. The sustainable use and preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and their biological diversity is essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular for small island developing States.
- Pollution of both land and seas is a threat in many coastal regions. In addition, since river basins, marine ecosystems and the atmosphere are all part of hydrological systems, the effects of such pollution are often felt far from their source. In many coastal communities, pollution and eutrophication, which is the presence of excessive nutrients in water, frequently owing to runoff from the land, causing dense plant growth and the death of animal life, are driving detrimental changes. The five large marine ecosystems most at risk from coastal eutrophication, according to a global comparative assessment undertaken in 2016 as part of the Transboundary Water Assessment Programme, are the Bay of Bengal, the East China Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Brazil Shelf and the South China Sea.
- Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the ocean has absorbed about one third of the carbon dioxide released by human activities, thereby mitigating the full impact of climate change. However, this comes at a steep ecological price, as dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater lowers the pH level of oceans, thereby increasing acidity and changing the biogeochemical carbonate balance. Concerns about ocean acidification, first expressed in the early 1980s, have now been confirmed, and the extent of its impact on marine ecosystems is being investigated.
- Fisheries contribute significantly to global food security, livelihoods and the economy. However, if not sustainably managed, fishing can damage fish habitats. Ultimately, overfishing impairs the functioning of ecosystems and reduces biodiversity, with negative repercussions for sustainable social and economic development. In order to achieve a healthy balance, fish stocks must be maintained within biologically sustainable limits, at or above the abundance level that can produce maximum sustainable yields. Based on an analysis of assessed stocks, the percentage of world marine fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels declined from 90 per cent in 1974 to 69 per cent in 2013. Fortunately, the downward trend has slowed and appears to have stabilized since 2008.
- Biodiverse marine sites require safeguarding to ensure sustainable long-term use of their precious natural resources. Globally, in 2014, 8.4 per cent of the marine environment under national jurisdiction (up to 200 nautical miles from shore) and 0.25 per cent of the marine environment beyond national jurisdiction were under protection. From 2000 to 2016, the share of marine sites around the world that are designated as key biodiversity areas and are completely covered by protected areas increased from 15 per cent to 19 per cent.