Floating islands of plastic garbage. Endocrine disruptors in marine organisms . Overfishing and illegal fishing driving species close to extinction. Increasing water temperatures triggering coral bleaching. Rising sea levels threatening coastal communities, eco systems and whole nations. The list of alarming reports on the state of the ocean is long, and their frequency has increased dramatically in recent years. We’re running out of time to reverse the trends.
“It is clear that we humans have severely mismanaged one of our global commons – the ocean,” says the newly appointed Swedish Ambassador for the Ocean, Helen Ågren.

Sweden will continue do its utmost to unite the world around concrete actions to save our oceans and meet our voluntary commitments. On 12–13 October, Sweden and Monaco will move from words to action through the conference ‘Connecting and Protecting Our Seas: Initiatives in the Baltic and the Mediterranean’, which was also registered as a voluntary commitment during the UN Ocean Conference.

The new wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad, which was co-financed by Sweden, represents an important step towards improving water quality in the Baltic Sea. This is because the wastewater from Kaliningrad’s close to half a million inhabitants has for many years run straight out into the Baltic Sea untreated.

Today, 8 June, is World Oceans Day, and marine issues have never been higher on the agenda. Tomorrow marks the end of the UN Ocean Conference, where many countries and stakeholders have gathered to reverse the cycle of ocean decline.

We cannot protect our share of the ocean with walls; instead, we must cooperate in a spirit of solidarity.

The problem is that there are actually not that many fish left in the sea. Now I’m talking about real fish, not partners. Since 1970 we have experienced a decline in marine species populations by 49%. 29% of all fish stocks are overfished and 61% are fully fished. Some estimates show that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our seas.