Fact Sheet


Marine ecosystems are under a variety of threats, including offshore oil drilling, oil spills, pollutions, marine debris, overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change.

Legal Status/Protection

Less than one percent of marine habitats are protected - compared with 11.5 percent of global land area. A variety of laws and regulations exist to protect marine life and habitats. Some of these protections include marine reserve, marine protected areas, and national marine sanctuary designations. Additional laws, treaties, and protections include the United Nations Law of the Sea, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, International Migratory Bird Act, and others.

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