Oceans & Seas

Oceans and seas play a vital role in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they significantly contribute to the Earth's biosphere's health and the global economy. They are critical to sustaining life on earth, acting as a major source of food and oxygen while also serving as natural carbon sinks that mitigate climate change impacts. SDG 14, "Life Below Water," explicitly acknowledges the importance of conservation and the sustainable use of the world's oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming. However, this process has implications such as ocean acidification, negatively impacting marine biodiversity and ecosystems. These impacts, coupled with unsustainable fishing practices and pollution, threaten the health of our oceans and seas. SDG 14 sets targets to prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems, and regulate harvesting and end overfishing to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels.

Oceans also support economic wellbeing. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. By protecting oceanic ecosystems, the SDGs also support SDG 1, "No Poverty," and SDG 8, "Decent Work and Economic Growth." Furthermore, the oceanic routes are critical for global trade, supporting SDG 9, "Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure."

Furthermore, by implementing strategies for cleaner and more sustainable use of oceans and seas, it can also contribute to SDG 13, "Climate Action." For instance, developing and implementing new technologies to harness energy from waves and tides can promote renewable energy usage and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, aligning with SDG 7, "Affordable and Clean Energy."

Sharks are a taxon of significant conservation concern and associated public interest. The scientific community largely supports management policies focusing on sustainable fisheries exploitation of sharks, but many concerned members of the public and some environmental advocates believe that sustainable shark fisheries cannot and do not exist and therefore support total bans on all shark fisheries and/or trade in shark products.

Protecting the ocean has become a major goal of international policy as human activities increasingly endanger the integrity of the ocean ecosystem, often summarized as “ocean health.” By and large, efforts to protect the ocean have failed because, among other things, (1) the underlying socio-ecological pathways have not been properly considered, and (2) the concept of ocean health has been ill defined. Collectively, this prevents an adequate societal response as to how ocean ecosystems and their vital functions for human societies can be protected and restored.

World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on June 5th, engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue. In 2020, the theme is biodiversity, a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States and Australia, to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist.

Most of the terrestrial world is experiencing high rates of land conversion despite growth of the global protected area (PA) network. There is a need to assess whether the current global protection targets are achievable across all major ecosystem types and to identify those that need urgent protection. Using recent rates of habitat conversion and protection and the latest terrestrial ecoregion map, we show that if the same approach to PA establishment that has been undertaken over the past three decades continues, 558 of 748 ecoregions (ca.
The IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress called for the full protection of 30% of each marine habitat globally and at least 30% of all the ocean. Thus, we quantitatively prioritized the top 30% areas for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) globally using global scale measures of biodiversity from the species to ecosystem level.

Ocean health is critical for human well-being but is threatened by multiple stressors. Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity agreed to protect 10% of their waters by 2020. The scientific evidence supporting the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve biodiversity stems primarily from knowledge on fully protected areas, but most of what is being established is partially protected. Here, we assess the protection levels of the 1,062 Mediterranean MPAs.


Plastic Waste and Recycling, Environmental Impact, Societal Issues, Prevention, and Solutions, 2020, pages 223 - 249

This book chapter addresses goals 14, 15, and 12 by exploring the origins of microplastics (relating to our society, production and consumption) and the diverse and harmful impacts of microplastics in the marine environment on life underwater, as well as interactions with humans and other life on land at the end of the cycle.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 21 February 2020
Despite global policy commitments to preserve Earth's marine biodiversity, many species are in a state of decline. Using data on 22,885 marine species, we identify 8.5 million km2 of priority areas that complement existing areas of conservation and biodiversity importance. New conservation priorities are found in over half (56%) of all coastal nations, including key priority regions in the northwest Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to address interactions between the economy, society, and the biosphere. However, indicators used for assessing progress toward the goals do not account for these interactions. To understand the potential implications of this compartmentalized assessment framework, we explore progress evaluations toward SDG 14 (Life below Water) and intersecting social goals presented in submissions to the UN High-Level Political Forum.
A cationic chelating polymer, namely biopolymer chitosan CHI with a molecular weight of 117 kDa is employed in the present study to bring about the retention of azoic dyes from its aqueous solutions by way of polymer enhanced ultrafiltration (PEUF). The effects of process parameters, namely, operating time, CHI and sodium chloride concentrations, transmembrane pressure, and pH of solution on the retention rate and permeate flux were examined.