Goal 14: Life Below Water

The oceans make human life possible. Their temperature, their chemistry, their currents, their life forms. For one thing, more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal diversity for their livelihoods. But today we are seeing nearly a third of the world’s fish stocks overexploited. That’s not a sustainable way of life. Even people who live nowhere near the ocean can’t live without it. Oceans absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans produce; but we’re producing more carbon dioxide than ever before and that makes the oceans more acidic—26% more, since the start of the industrial revolution. Our trash doesn’t help either—13,000 pieces of plastic litter on every square kilometer of ocean. Sounds bad, right? Don’t despair! The Sustainable Development Goals indicate targets for managing and protecting life below water.

Explore other goals