The message comes on the occasion of World Oceans Day, which aims to reflect on the significance of the oceans and the efforts needed to restore life and sustainability to their natural wealth.
“The ocean is the foundation of life. It supplies the air we breathe and food we eat. It regulates our climate and weather. The ocean is our planet´s greatest reservoir of biodiversity,” said Guterres.
However, he warned that marine biodiversity is also under attack from overfishing, over-exploitation and ocean acidification, fish stocks are being depleted, and coastal waters have been polluted with chemicals, plastics and human wastes.
“Over a third of fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels. We are polluting our coastal waters with chemicals, plastics and human waste,” Guterres stated.
An estimated 90% large fish stocks are depleted and 50% of coral reefs are destroyed.