Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The world’s oceans are suffering unsustainable depletion, environmental deterioration, and carbon dioxide saturation and acidification. As our population grows, so does the stress we place on our oceans to meet our growing social and economic needs. Current efforts to protect our oceans, arguably our world’s most important and fragile resource, are insufficient. Below are some other statistics related to Goal 14 from the United Nations;

  • Our oceans absorb roughly 23% of annual emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although this helps alleviate the effects of global warming, it leads to decreasing pH and acidification of the ocean
  • The ocean absorbs more than 90% of excess heat in the climate system
  • A 100-150% increase in ocean acidity is projected by the year 2100, affecting half of all Marine life
  • The sustainability of global fishery resources has continued to decline, from 90% in 1974 to 66% in 2017 (measured by the proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels)
  • As of December 2019, more than 24 million km2, or 17% of waters under national jurisdiction were covered by protected areas, up more than 100% from 2010.
  • 97 countries have signed the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing
  • Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods
  • Roughly 80% of marine and coastal pollution originates on land – including agricultural run-off, pesticides, plastics and untreated sewage.
  • Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute and up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. Many of these single use plastics end up in our oceans
  • For more statistics related to our Oceans, please see the Goal 14 Progress site here

Goal 14 Targets:

  • 14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • 14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
  • 14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
  • 14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
  • 14.5 By 2020, 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
  • 14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
  • 14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
  • 14.A Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
  • 14.B Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
  • 14.C Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want

This Month’s Challenge:

In March 2021, we are sharing more datasets thanks to our friends at the Centre for Humanitarian Data.  Links to a number of datasets from the Humanitarian Data Exchange related to our Oceans can be found on our data.world site here.  And as always, we are sharing Goal related data from the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal Database, with regional data on all of the targets listed above.

If you would like participate, you can use data from any source, but the overall goal is to focus your analysis on some of the topics mentioned in the Targets section above.  If you come across other interesting datasets, please let us know so we can add them to our data.world project.  The deadline for submission will be March 31, 2021. Make sure to tag us in your submission, add the #TheSDGVizProject hashtag, and add your submission to #TheSDGVizProject tracker.

As we mentioned on our Home page, building a viz is not the only way to participate.  Our main goal is to spread awareness, so if you see a viz with #TheSDGVizProject, please share it.  And keep an eye out for a post at the end of the month with ways that you can contribute to this month’s goal.


Centre for Humanitarian Data

Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX)

Global SDG Indicators Database

Goal 14 Progress

Goal 14 Info