The UN has urged governments to implement tighter marine pollution controls or risk further degradation of the oceans, fish stocks and ecosystems.
Countries are being asked to support a ‘zero draft’ Call To Action at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference in New York that calls for an acceleration of “actions to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds”.
It lists pollution from ships, lost fishing gear, ship strikes, underwater noise and invasive alien species as areas that require focus and investment.
Due to be formally approved by governments on Friday, the Call To Action also underlines global alarm at the impacts of climate change on the ocean, including rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification and sea-level rise.
“We recognise, in this regard, the particular importance of the Paris Agreement adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,” the document said.
The Call To Action comes less than a month before some 170 countries meet in London for two weeks of talks on a range of environmental policies to clean up the global shipping fleet.
These include discussions on the use of tar-like Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) in the Arctic and the start of work on a new maritime climate plan due in 2018.