SDG 14: Life Below Water


Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


Our oceans absorb 30 percent of manmade carbon dioxide. The added greenhouse gasses to the oceans leads to acidification, which results in habitat change for marine life and for extensive coral bleaching. As well, the carbon dioxide absorbed by the ocean cause additional warming of the oceans and a further melting of arctic ice.

Pollution of the oceans is primarily caused by plastic pollution via land. This has been well-documented, and now there is an average of 13.000 pieces of plastic every square kilometer of ocean.

Today, more than 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited, meaning they can’t regenerate fast enough to keep up with consumption. Currently, more than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods, including as a food source and as income, like fishing or tourism.


With a combination of legislation and technological measures, we can prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including nutrient pollution, caused by runoff from the agricultural industry, by 2025.

Regulating harvesting and ending overfishing and destructive fishing practices, including illegal and, unreported fishing, via science-based management plans, are essential to keeping our oceans healthy. This will restore fish populations to a point where a sustainable yield can be achieved.

The ocean seen from above.

How are companies working on it:

Hera – Investing in public water: Hera, a multi-utility company which operates in the distribution of gas, water, energy, and waste disposal in Italy, has launched a Seawater Protection Plan in Rimini, aiming to eliminate swimming bans in public waters and reduce the pollution impact (measured in COD) by 90% by 2020. The plan includes 11 measures, with an overall investment of over EUR154 million. This innovative project involves the structural modification of sewage systems and treatment plants, which will solve the environmental problem caused by waste discharged into the sea.

(Source: SDG industry matrix – Energy, Natural resources & Chemicals)

Thordon Bearings – Using seawater as a lubricant: Thordon Bearings, an innovative engineering company, is helping ship owners eliminate oil and grease discharges from their ships, contributing to sustainable operations and cleaner oceans and seas. (Operational and accidental oil discharges from propeller shafts into the sea are estimated to be 130 million to 240 million liters per year.) This company developed non-metallic propeller shaft bearings that are lubricated with seawater, completely eliminating the use of oil.

(Source: SDG industry matrix – Transportation)

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