Oceans are home to thousands of species of animals and plants that provide an essential source of food, nutrition and income for millions, including many of the world’s poorest people. We all agree that our oceans are worth protecting. Indeed, one of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development calls for the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans, seas and marine resources. This makes perfect sense.
On December 9, 2014, a major oil spill of 350,000 litres occurred in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The accident threatened to destroy the world's largest mangrove ecosystem and its unique aquatic life. There were fears that the spill might lead to severe long-term degradation of this delicate and ecologically important environment.