- Coastal waters have been contaminated by land-based sources, particularly municipal wastes that cause eutrophication.
- Red tides have increased in distribution and frequency in many coastal seas, and there are links to eutrophication.
- Oceanic waters already show human impacts, both in terms of trace contaminants and measurable temperature and
- Total marine fish production is leveling off as the landings of demersal fish have remained constant since the l970s.
- More than two-thirds of the world's marine fish stocks are being fished at or beyond their level of maximum
- The Atlantic Ocean was fully fished in 1980, the Pacific Ocean will be by 1999, and the remaining large areas are still
- Many fishery resources classified as overexploited in l992 have been showing decreased yields for the last 20 years, and
are now producing 6 million tons less than they did in 1985.
Underlying causes of change
- Inadequate waste management on land, particularly in rapidly growing coastal settlements.
- Destruction of natural cover of watersheds.
Projected impact of human activities on the oceans
- Increased extent of coastal areas becoming unsuitable for recreation and food production.
- Loss of coral reefs and mangroves.
- Contribution to sea-level rises.
- Collapse of additional fish stocks.
Social and economic consequences of projected changes
- Greater incidence of illness due to consumption of contaminated fish and shellfish.
- Decline in marine fisheries production, and increased prices resulting in lower per capita consumption, especially among
- Unemployment and social dislocation caused by the collapse of traditional fisheries.
- Decline in coastal tourism.
- Increased cost of coastal protection measures.
Technologies, policies, and measures to mitigate projected changes
- Improved management of fisheries, both capture and culture.
- Better waste management (implementation of the Washington Declaration).
- Improved monitoring of coastal waters to prevent health-related problems.
Status of international agreements
- U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea, first signed in 1982, came into force in 1994.
- Agreement for the Implementation of the Provision of the U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea Relating to the Conser-
vation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks - New York, August 1995.
"Protecting Our Planet, Securing Our Future" UNEP / U.S. NASA / World Bank, 1997