As science-fiction author Arthur C.
Clarke noted, it is “inappropriate
to call this planet Earth when it is
quite clearly Ocean”. Crucially important to
the global environment, oceans are threatened
by escalating pollution, population
and coastal development on land. Global
climate change is contributing to sea-level
rise, warming and acidification. Marine
biodiversity is falling, while occurrences of
cyclones and storm surges are rising. Yet the
oceans also offer tremendous promise for
our future resource needs.