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April 20, 2013

Seas and oceans

Oceans cover 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface.

More than 90 per cent of the planet’s living biomass is found in the oceans.

Eighty per cent of all pollution in seas and oceans comes from land-based activities.

Forty per cent of the world’s population lives within 60km of a coast.

Plastic waste kills up to one million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year.

Sea creatures killed by plastic decompose, the plastic does not. Plastic remains in the ecosystem to kill again and again.

Pollution, exotic species and alteration of coastal habitats are a growing threat to important marine ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

Tropical coral reefs border the shores of 109 countries, the majority of which are among the world’s least developed. Significant reef degradation has occurred in 93 countries.

There are about 4,000 coral reef fish species worldwide, accounting for approximately a quarter of all marine fish species.

The Great Barrier Reef, measuring 2,000km in length, is the largest living structure on Earth. It can be seen from the outer space.

Reefs protect human populations along coastlines from wave and storm damage by serving as buffers between oceans and near-shore communities.

Nearly 60 per cent of the world’s remaining reefs are at significant risk of being lost in the next three decades.

— Compiled by The Surfer