The oceans are a key element of the global ecosystem. They regulate the climate, absorb a large amount of the carbon emissions caused by humankind and, at the same time, are vital producers of oxygen. Thanks to their huge biological diversity and productivity, the oceans make an enormous contribution towards food security and employment. 2.9 billion people worldwide obtain more than 20 per cent of the animal protein they need in their diet from fish. Between 10 and 12 per cent of the global population depend for their living on the fisheries sector, in particular small-scale artisanal fishing.
And yet pollution, overfishing and climate change are taking a heavy toll on the marine ecosystem and threatening the lives and livelihoods of many people, particularly in developing countries. That is why marine conservation is also an important item on Germany's G20 presidency agenda. The G20 will jointly express their commitment to protecting the seas and oceans and, for example, take measures to combat the dumping of rubbish, better protect diverse marine life and use marine resources sustainably.