Oceans reaching point of no return, says UN

The UN has warned the world’s governments that humankind’s exploitation of the sea could be passing the point of no return.

A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found that more than half of the world’s fish stocks are being exploited to their full extent, with nearly a quarter suffering from over-fishing.

Meanwhile, pollution, litter and deep sea drilling are all reaching into the depths of a marine environment hitherto preserved from the hand of man.

In the Central Pacific, the study found, there is now up to 6lb of marine litter to every 1lb of plankton. Elsewhere, there are around 46,000 pieces of plastic litter for every square mile of the world’s oceans.

Achim Steiner, UNEP