Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks overexploited, reaching below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields.
Oceans also absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, and we are seeing a 26 percent rise in ocean acidification since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Marine pollution, an overwhelming majority of which comes from land-based sources, is reaching alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter to be found on every square kilometer of ocean.
The SDGs aim to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification. Enhancing conservation and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources through international law will also help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans.
HOW ANIMAL EXPLOITATION UNDERMINES THIS GOAL
All living creatures depend upon our oceans, and the streams and rivers that flow into them. This is probably one of the most obvious of places where we see the encroachment of nature and the despoiling of the biosphere on which we all depend, caused by humanity’s exploitation of animals. From massive overfishing, dredging, discarded fishing equipment, plastics, other solid and chemical pollutants, oil extraction and spills, human exploitation of fresh and salt waters is rampantly destroying life. As the oceans become ever affected by man, we see the impact within weather patterns, unstable climate, ocean warming, further accelerating the destruction.
“Hidden ‘Dead Zones’ in The Ocean Have Quadrupled Since The ’50s, And That’s Really Bad” – (“The decline in ocean oxygen ranks among the most serious effects of human activities on Earth’s environment.”) (Nutrients like phosphorus from fertilizers can easily end up in rivers and estuaries, which creates algal blooms that drain oxygen from the water as they die and decompose.) FIONA MACDONALD, 5 JANUARY 2018 – https://www.sciencealert.com
“Four Meat Giants Top List of Worst Water Polluters in U.S.” – A new analysis released last week by Environment America shows that meat giant Tyson released 104 million pounds of pollution into American waterways in 4 years, more than companies like Exxon and Dow Chemical. A substantial portion of Tyson’s discharges are nitrate compounds. Nitrates can contribute to algal blooms and dead zones, and also pose threats to human health, including “blue baby syndrome” for infants. 2016/2/11 – https://www.cowspiracy.com