World's oceans need greater protection: UN chief
United Nations, May 23 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sought global attention to the fragile state of the world's oceans and the importance of marine diversity for global survival.
He has stressed on strengthening protection of marine life, Xinhua reported.
Speaking on the International World Biodiversity Day, the UN chief Tuesday said: "Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the surface of the globe. They are home to the largest animal known to have lived on the planet -- the blue whale."
"From sandy shores to the darkest depths of the sea, oceans and coasts support the rich tapestry of life on which human communities rely on," he said.
The UN chief laid emphasis on the impact of commercial exploitation of fish stock.
Ban said, more than half of world's fisheries have exhausted their stock, with an additional third of the world' s fisheries in complete depletion. Moreover, an estimated 30 to 34 percent of marine environment consisting of coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grasses have been destroyed.
"Increased burning of fossil fuels is affecting the global climate, making the sea surface warmer, causing sea level to rise and increasing ocean acidity, with consequences we are only beginning to comprehend," the UN chief said.
On May 22, the UN General Assembly marked International Day for Biological Diversity, to increase awareness of issues affecting global marine life.
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