The Global Ocean

The global ocean covers about two-thirds of our planet’s surface, and is vital for life on Earth. It provides us with food and oxygen, and is a major source of jobs and livelihoods. It is set to become a major source of minerals and genetic resources to meet 21st Century needs.

A number of factors threaten the health of the global ocean and its capacity to continue providing the resources and services we need. These include overfishing, loss of habitat, climate change and ocean acidification. Some of these issues have emerged since agreement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the principal legal framework governing the global ocean, in 1982.

Together, these factors threaten the ocean’s capacity to continue providing the resources and services that humanity needs. Improving management of the global ocean would bring both economic and ecological progress.

Wave in the Southern Ocean (John Weller)