• Caterina Sullivan

#Goal14: #LifeBelowWater

Updated: Nov 3, 2018



Blue water, white sand.

Australia’s beaches are world-famous.

The Global Goals sets out the protect not only our beautiful beaches but the marine life which call the ocean home all over the world.

Target 14.1 starts with the prevention and reduction of marine pollution of all kinds by 2025. In Australia, marine pollution is tightly controlled albeit still present. According to the Department of the Environment, “poor water quality and sediment quality are the most serious known pollution issues affecting Australia’s coastal and marine environments.”

By 2020, it is also vital to put in place measures to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts. This includes strengthening the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems as well as taking action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.


Target 14.3 outlines the importance of minimising and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification. This relates back to the importance of #Goal13: #ClimateAction.

To sustain our marine and coastal ecosystems, one of the first steps we must take is to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as well as destructive fishing practices. To assess the extent of overfishing issues, the Global Goals recommend the implementation of science-based management plans in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels which can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics. 13% of Australia’s fish resources are either overfished or being fished too heavily according to the Commonwealth Government’s annual report on the marine population in Australia. This is taking into consideration the fact that the status of only 85% of Australia’s fish stock is known.

Target 14.5 aims to conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas by 2020. This includes prohibiting certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing as well as eliminating subsidies which contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. It is important to not introduce new subsidises of a similar nature.


To ensure the sustainable management of our oceans, it is vital that we work with other governments. Target 14.7 aims to increase the economic benefits to small island developing states as well as least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

To achieve all of the above, we must increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries. Relating back to #Goal2: #ZeroHunger, we must also provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets. Finally, we must enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

If Australia’s commitment to promoting the sustainability of the incredible creatures in the depths of our oceans sounds like something with which you would like to become involved, check out “Goal 14: Life Below Water” and head over to our “What Can I Do?” page to see how you can become part of the solution with the Global Goals Australia Campaign!

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

#globalgoals #goal14 #lifebelowwater

Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

PO Box 6157

O'CONNOR ACT 2602

Australia