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The oceans are in trouble. We are at a crossroads in history, and the actions we take – or fail to take – in the next decade will decisively impact the future of our seas and of our planet.
- Overfishing depletes stocks of fish beyond their ability to recover.
This disrupts the ecosystem and eliminates a valuable source of food and income.
- Predator loss releases prey populations from both the pressure and risk of predation.
Their removal can cause a potentially irreversible cascade of complex knock-on effects, destabilising marine ecosystems to their - and our - severe detriment.
- Climate change is warming the oceans and making them more acidic.
This will create vast dead zones as plankton and corals - the primary producers for nearly all marine life - struggle to survive under increasingly inhospitable conditions.
- Pollution can poison marine life and decimate entire marine environments.
Vast quantities of solid and chemical waste from human activities are continually dumped and leach into the oceans, including plastics, sewage, oil and toxins that accumulate in food webs.
- Habitat destruction physically limits the suitable living space available to marine life.
Coastal development, trawling, and aquaculture all destroy important marine habitats vital for supporting ocean health, such estuaries and mangrove systems that function as nurseries.