The World As We Knew It Has Been Left Behind
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    UN warns on state of world's oceans

    SPAIN: June 8, 2004

    BARCELONA, Spain - Over-fishing, pollution and global warming are threatening the world's oceans, the United Nations said in a report to mark World Environment Day on Saturday.

    "Wanted! Seas and Oceans: Dead or Alive?" is the slogan for the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) on the annual day, helping review the state of the planet.

    Following are some UNEP facts about the seas:

    - Oceans cover 70 percent of the world's surface and more than 90 percent of the world's living biomass - from seaweed to blue whales - is found in the oceans.

    - More than 3.5 billion people, more than half the world's six billion population, depend on the seas for their primary source of food. The numbers could double to 7.0 billion in 20 years.

    - More than 70 percent of the world's marine fisheries are fished up to or beyond their sustainable limit. Stocks of fish such as tuna, cod, swordfish and marlin have declined by up to 90 percent in the past century.