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| Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

The ocean powers the world's systems that make the Earth a habitable place for humans. Our rain, drinking water, climate, climate, coasts, much of our food and even the oxygen in the air we breathe are supplied and regulated by the sea.

Careful management of this essential global resource is a fundamental feature of a sustainable future. However, currently, there is a continuing deterioration of coastal waters due to pollution and acidification of the oceans which has an adverse effect on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. It also has a negative impact on small-scale fisheries.

Protecting our oceans must remain a priority. Marine biodiversity is vital for the health of people and our planet. Marine Protected Areas must be effectively managed, as must their resources, and regulations must be implemented to reduce overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification.


Ocean conservation and action must not stop as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. We must seek long-term solutions for the health of our planet as a whole.  Our lives depend on the health of the planet.

The health of the oceans is closely linked to our health. According to UNESCO, the ocean can be an ally against COVID-19: bacteria found in the depths of the ocean are being used to carry out rapid tests to detect the presence of COVID-19. Furthermore, the diversity of species in the ocean holds promise for drugs.

The pandemic offers an opportunity to revive the oceans and start building a sustainable ocean economy. A report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific suggests that the temporary cessation of activity, as well as the reduction in human movements and demand for resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could provide marine environments with so much truce needed to start to recover.

The United Nations Ocean Conference, originally scheduled for June 2020, has been postponed to a later date (yet to be determined) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


| Notable Data  


  • The oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth's surface, contain 97% of the planet's water, and account for 99% of the planet's habitable surface by volume.

  • More than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.

  • Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and their industry is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5% of global GDP.

  • The oceans contain about 200,000 identified species, but the actual numbers could be in the millions.

  • The oceans absorb about 30% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, cushioning the impacts of global warming.

  • The oceans are the biggest source of protein in the world. More than 3 billion people depend on the oceans as their main source of protein.

  • Sea fishing directly or indirectly employs more than 200 million people.

  • Fishing subsidies are contributing to the rapid depletion of many species and hampering efforts to save and restore the world's fisheries and associated jobs, causing ocean fisheries to generate $50 billion less than they could.

  • Open ocean spaces show that current acidity levels have increased by 26 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

  • Coastal waters are deteriorating due to pollution and eutrophication. Without coordinated efforts, coastal eutrophication is expected to increase in 20% of large marine ecosystems by 2050.

| Goal 14

14.1 By 2025, significantly prevent and reduce marine pollution of all types, particularly from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including strengthening their resilience, and take steps to restore them to restore the health and productivity of the oceans

14.3 Minimize and address the effects of ocean acidification, including through greater scientific cooperation at all levels

14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate fishing operations and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices, and implement science-based management plans to restore fish stocks in the shortest time possible, by less reaching levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield according to their biological characteristics

14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, in accordance with national and international laws and based on the best available scientific information

14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fishing subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and refrain from introducing new subsidies, recognizing that negotiating subsidies to fisheries under the The Trade Organization should include special and differential, appropriate and effective treatment for developing and least developed countries.

14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits that Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries derive from the sustainable use of marine resources, in particular through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism

14.a Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and marine technology transfer, taking into account the Criteria and Guidelines for Marine Technology Transfer of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, in order to improve the health of the oceans and increase the contribution of biodiversity for the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing states and least developed countries.

14.b Facilitate access of artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets

14.c Improve the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources by applying international law reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which constitutes the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of the document "The future we want"

¹ Taking into account the ongoing World Trade Organization negotiations, the Doha Development Agenda and the mandate of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration.

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