Monitoring marine pollution

Monitoring damage to the oceans
Investigating pollution in the marine environment
Improving marine pollution monitoring programmes

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends establishing or improving, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control effluent discharges and emissions, including the development and application of control and recycling technology.


Some seabirds ingest sub-lethal quantities of oil from spills or from low-level, long-term pollution. Storm-petrels (Procellariiformes) are widely distributed throughout all the major oceans of the world and can serve as effective monitors of marine environmental quality and could contribute to protecting marine resources.

The Mediterranean Pollution Monitoring and Research Programme (MED POL) receives national monitoring data from 20 Mediterranean countries.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on Land