The Ocean is a flourishing ecosystem that can maintain itself.

But our actions have been negatively impacting the Ocean for many decades, at a rate the Ocean cannot keep up with. 

There was a time when we thought the Ocean was endless. And so, we treated it that way. 

Taking what we want, when we want, in whatever quantity we liked.  

It took us far too long to realise the many ways we threaten our Ocean. But now we know better. We now know the value of our Ocean. Our Ocean provides over 50% of the world's oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. We need a healthy Ocean for a healthy planet. 

5 Human Actions that Threaten our Ocean

After research and consultation, the Ocean Generation team have identified the 5 broad ways human actions are threatening our Ocean. Click into the links to read each threat in more detail. 

1. Climate Change: How does the Ocean impact Climate change?

The signs of changing climates around the world surround us.

Our Ocean plays a fundamental role in regulating global temperatures.Ocean-based solutions have huge potential to eliminate a fifth of the carbon we need to overcome global warming.  

We must see the Ocean as the Solution to climate change.  

2. Pollution: It's not just Plastic Polluting our Ocean. 

Plastic is by far, the most common and impacting pollutant in the Ocean. 

80% of plastic in our Ocean comes from the land, mainly made up of single-use plastic items. Items we use once, and then throw away. But this is the problem with plastic. There is no “away”.

3. Coastal Infrastructure Development: Why we need to protect our coastlines

2.5 billion people live within 100 km off the coast. They all live in a tiny portion of that space - 4% to be exact – making these coastal region densely populated areas with increasing rates of population growth.   

The impacts of climate change on coastal communities are increasingly evident. With higher frequencies of natural events like cyclones and hurricanes, risk of erosion and land loss, salinisation, flooding and other cascading impacts, coastal regions have never been this vulnerable.

If we do not take concrete action to address climate change, hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America could be forced to move within their own countries to escape the impacts of climate change by 2050.  

4. Resource Extraction: What resources do we extract from the Ocean? 

Approximately 3 billion people rely on fish and other seafood as their primary source of protein. This is why it is the most notable thing we extract from the Ocean. But we can develop new approaches to make this practise more sustainable.

We must recognise the limits of the Ocean resources and limit what we take to allow the Ocean to replenish and regenerate. Otherwise, we will reach a point of no return. 

5. Daily Ocean Use: The Impact of our daily human actions on the Ocean

We humans work hard, leading busy lives. Our Ocean is no different.  

All around the world, our Ocean is in use every day for some reason or the other. From cargo being shipped for global trade, to passenger traffic for international or domestic travel. The Ocean is what unites our very existence.   

We need organisations responsible to be transparent about their environmental impact reporting.  

We need to invest in bold innovations and human ingenuity to offer safer solutions and new ways to survive that protect the awe-inspiring and important marine species that are so intrinsically connected to our own wellbeing.