Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Oceans and fisheries continued to support the global population’s economic, social and environmental needs while suffering unsustainable depletion, environmental deterioration and carbon dioxide saturation and acidification. Current efforts to protect key marine environments and small-scale fishers and invest in ocean science are not yet meeting the urgent need to protect this vast, fragile resource.
The ocean absorbs around 23 per cent of the annual emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, helping to alleviate the impacts of climate change on the planet, however, resulting in a decreasing pH and acidification of the ocean. A new ocean acidification data portal shows an increase in variability in pH and the acidity of the oceans by 10 to 30 per cent in the period 2015–2019.
The sustainability of global fishery resources continues to decline, though at a reduced rate, with the proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels at 65.8 per cent in 2017, down from 90 per cent in 1974 and 0.8 percentage point lower than 2015 levels.