Oceans and fisheries support the global population's economic, social and environmental needs. They are the source of life on the planet and the global climate system regulator, and they are the world's largest ecosystem, home to nearly a million known species. Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the earth's surface and contain 97% of the planet's water. Rainwater, drinking water and climate are all regulated by ocean temperatures and currents, and they are essential for making the world livable. Over 3 billion people depend on marine life for their livelihood.

The oceans, seas and marine resources are threatened by pollution, warming and acidification, disrupting marine ecosystems and the communities they support.

In some instances, improved regulation with effective monitoring and surveillance has successfully restored overfished stocks to biologically sustainable levels. However, the adoption of such measures has generally been slow, especially in many developing countries.

How can we pursue SDG14?

Strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of increased ocean acidification, pollution and abuse are needed to advance the sustainable use of oceans.

  • Reduce waste because much of the waste produced on land ends up in the oceans. Stop using plastic bags and bottles, as their usage and disposal are substantial causes of marine pollution.
  • Share information about the adverse effects of plastic use on the seas and oceans.
  • Do not buy or use bottled water.
  • Organise and engage in cleanup projects for rivers, seaside
  •  and oceans. 
  • Buy sustainably sourced local fish and support small-scale producers by shopping in local markets and shops.
  • Implement policies and practices to protect ocean ecosystems impacted by business and supply chain activities.
  • Research, develop and deploy products and services which help to reduce the impact on oceans and contribute to their restoration.

Case Study

Reducing plastic waste

Cotteswold Dairy has been putting milk in glass bottles since 1938, and these are collected from our customers and washed, sterilized, and reused around 30 times before being recycled and made into new glass bottles. They encourage all their doorstep customers to choose glass, and they work with local schools, businesses, and cafes to reduce their single-use plastic by getting their milk delivered in glass bottles.

They also offer other products in glass, such as fruit juice, milkshakes, and water.​ When glass is not an option for businesses, they try to encourage the use of a pergal machine (a milk dispensing machine that can hold up to 24 pints of milk) thus reducing plastic waste.​ Their other primary source of product packaging is poly bottles which are 100% recyclable. In the UK, poly bottles are recycled and made into new plastic bottles. ​

For more information about the Cotteswold Dairy sustainability programme, click the button below.

SDG14 aims to "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development".

It has associated aims that include:
  • Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.

  • Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts.

  • Minimise and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.

  • Effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans.

  • Conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.

  • Prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing and ones that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Purpose-led Leadership

QuoLux™ provide purpose-led leadership training programmes to enable leaders to align their businesses with Sustainable Development Goals.