The ocean covers more than 70% of the planet. It is our source of life, sustaining all humanity and all other organisms on earth.
The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen and is home to most of the Earth’s biodiversity. In particular, it is the main source of protein for over a billion people worldwide. The ocean is also key to our economy, with around 40 million people employed by ocean industries by 2030.
Man therefore needs the ocean to survive, and the ocean today, more than ever before, needs increased support to continue fulfilling its functions, on which the whole planet depends.
With 90% of large fish populations already depleted and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all that it sustains, then, we need to create a new balance, rooted in a true understanding of the ocean and how humanity is linked to it. We need to build a relationship with the ocean that is truly inclusive, innovative and informed by the lessons of the past.
Under the theme 2023the United Nations is joining forces with decision-makers, indigenous leaders, scientists, private sector executives, civil society, celebrities and youth activists to put the ocean first.