Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. But, because many of us spend most of our lives on land, the 140 million square miles of blue out there aren’t always top of mind.
While vast, oceans are not empty. They are teeming with life and connected to society through history and culture, shipping and economic activity, geopolitics and recreation.
But oceans — along with coastal people and marine species — are vulnerable, and good ocean governance is critical to protect these expanses from pollution, overfishing and climate change, to name just some of the threats.
The laws, institutions and regulations in place for the oceans are a multi-layered patchwork and always a work in progress. Read on.