Sources: Save our oceans

Overfishing, pollution and waste disposal, agricultural runoff, invasive alien species, sewage, pesticides, industrial chemicals, other types of waste. This neverending list of human interference is threatening the delicate balance of our oceans [1,4]. Global climate change is raising the sea level, increasing the water temperature, and acidifying seawater [5,7,9]. We’re losing the rich biodiversity of marine ecosystems at an unprecedented rate. We need to act now to save our oceans.

Facts and Figures

  • Oceans cover 75% of the Earth’s surface [10]

  • 80% of all pollution in seas and oceans comes from land-based activities [11].

  • Every year, 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters oceans and kills up to 1 million seabirds, and countless fish [12,13]. 

  • Pollutants like mercury contaminate seafood, causing birth defects, cancer and neurological problems [14].

  • All major bays and estuaries contain dead zones due to pollution run-off [15,16].

  • By the end of this century, the surface waters of the ocean could have a pH of 7.8., similar to 14-17 million years ago, when a major extinction event occurred [17, 18].

There are organisations doing crucial work to tackle ocean pollution, overfishing, and climate change, however, in order to solve the problem from its root cause more novel research and interdisciplinary problem-solving approaches are needed [19-22]. Saving the oceans requires a global commitment. We need to raise public awareness even more and implement international laws and policies to protect the biodiversity of our waters [27,28]. The organisations we picked for this appeal address the problem from different angles, from ocean plastics to sustainable fishing. With your support, you will contribute to a holistic solution.


  1. Ocean Health Index: Habitat Destruction (link)

  2. Ocean Health Index: Inside the Trash Pollution Component (link

  3. Ocean Health Index: Chemical Pollution (link)

  4. Ocean Health Index: Nutrient Pollution (link)

  5. Ocean Health Index: Sea Level Rise (link

  6. National Geographic: Sea level rise, explained (link)

  7. NASA - Global Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide (link

  8. Ocean Health Index: Ocean Acidification (link)

  9. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Ocean Acidification (link)

  10. United Nations - Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources (link)

  11. United Nations - The Ocean Conference: Marine Pollution (factsheet)

  12. Our World in Data: Plastic Pollution (link)

  13. United Nations - The Ocean Conference: Marine Pollution (factsheet)

  14. U.S. Geological Survey: Science Explorer - Mercury (link

  15. National Geographic: Dead Zones, explained (link)

  16. MarineBio: Ocean Pollution (link

  17. National Centers for Environmental Information: The Future of Ocean Acidification (link

  18. Periodicity of extinctions in the geologic past (research report

  19. National Geographic: A running list of action on plastic pollution (link)

  20. MarineBio: Sustainable Fisheries (link)

  21. National Geographic: Global warming solutions, explained (link

  22. Science for the Future: The Use of Citizen Science in Marine Research and Conservation (research paper

  23. Addressing fisheries bycatch in a changing world (research article)

  24. National Geographic: Sustainable fishing (encyclopedia entry)

  25. Ecosystem-Based Management (link

  26. Wageningen Research & University (link

  27. United Nations Environment Programme: Addressing Marine Plastics: A systemic Approach - recommendations for Actions (report

  28. MarineBio: Ocean Science (link)  

  29. Conservation International - Ocean Pollution: 11 facts you need to know (link


Other sources: 

  • Convention on Biological Diversity: Inland Waters Biodiversity - What's the Problem? (link)

  • U.S. Geological Survey: Mercury in Stream Ecosystems—New Studies Initiated by the U.S. Geological Survey (factsheet / report

  • MarineBio: 101+ ways to make a difference (link)

  • United Nations: Oceans and the law of the Sea (link)