World steps up pledges to save dying oceans

Governments and businesses have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure the health of the worlds oceans, which produce more than half of our oxygen and which scientists warn are under unprecedented strain.

Commitments being rolled out this week at the Our Oceans conference in Oslo, Norway, include tackling pollution, supporting marine science, investing in sustainable fisheries and boosting maritime security.

The event puts governments in the same room as business leaders and environmental NGOs seeking solutions to ward off the worst effects of climate change. To do this, experts say at least a third of the worlds oceans need to be off-limits to fishing and mining by 2030.

We need to be protecting a lot more of our ocean if its going to continue to be a food source for the 3 billion people it provides protein for and for the rest of us who breathe the oxygen that it produces, says Anne Merwin, of the Washington-based NGO Ocean Conservancy.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month warned of severe peril as the worlds water becomes more acidic and hostile to life. Overfishing, plastic litter and rising ocean temperatures are three major threats.

The situation is critical, says Merwin who sees upcoming global summits such as the blue Cop 25 in Chile in December, and next years UN Ocean Conference in Portugal as serious opportunities to step up the scale of action.

Priority number one, she says, is reducing emissions. The ocean plays a big part i....

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