Reversing the rapid decline in ocean health is critical to addressing climate change. It is a global challenge requiring a global solution.

The ocean covers 70 per cent of the world’s surface, generates over 50 per cent of the world’s oxygen, absorbs half the carbon produced, and accounts for 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity.

Ocean health is critical for economic and food security reasons, with over 100 million households livelihoods dependent on the fisheries industry and three billion dependent on seafood as their primary protein.

The World Economic Forum’s Ocean Action Agenda – taking place in Davos this week –  supports a range of initiatives and events from the public and private sectors to ensure the long term sustainable use of the ocean. Designed to help advance SDG 14 – Life Below Water – the new ocean vision offers a platform for key industries to work together with government, civil society and the scientific community on implementation and accountability. 

All indicators on ocean health indicate a biosphere in rapid decline. Demand for seafood is increasing, yet most of the world’s fisheries are in collapse with 85 per cent fully exploited. Ocean acidification and sea temperature rise have led to coral bleaching and increasing ocean dead-zones. Many scientists fear we are on the brink of a large scale maritime extinction event unless urgent action is taken.

Friends of Ocean Action is an organisation working to fast-track solutions to the most pressing ocean challenges. Its members – the friends – come from business, civil society, international organisations, science and technology – all using their knowledge, means and influence to help the international help community take the urgent steps needed to conserve and sustainably use our ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Friends of Ocean Action will be streaming the World Economic Forum's ocean activities live from Davos.

Don't miss the day's sessions aiming to energise entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists and connect them together and with world leaders to fast-track ideas into high-impact, large-scale solutions.

Be sure to follow the #WEF19 and #OceanDavos hashtags and support the 30 x 30 campaign – a call to action to safeguard 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030.

This post is part of a series produced by Virgin Unite in partnership with Ocean Unite, an initiative to unite and activate powerful voices for ocean-conservation action.