SDG 14 is the “ocean goal” among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all nations at the United Nations in September 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda. It is the first time nations have brought the oceans and seas up to a level of attention equal to climate change, biodiversity, poverty and other great challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.

The goal emphasizes the needs to care for the oceans and to use them wisely for the benefit of humanity: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

Like all the other global goals, SDG14 is supported by a set of “targets,” or sub-goals, that make the overall goal more concrete and specific. Here is the complete list of targets for SDG14:

14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans

14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels

14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and destructive fishing practices, and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics

14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information

14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation*

* Taking into account ongoing World Trade Organization negotiations, the Doha Development Agenda and the Hong Kong ministerial mandate.

14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to small island developing states and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism