AbstractThe fundamental role of the ocean for life and well-being on Earth is more and more recognised at the highest political level. In 2015, the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders. The SDG 14 ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’ is dedicated to the oceans. The mention of the ocean in the Paris Agreement signed in 2016 marked a decisive milestone. In 2018, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) has been proclaimed (https://en.unesco.org/ocean-decade): The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO will gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework to foster evidence-based policy-making. In fall 2019, the IPCC special report on ocean and cryosphere will be published, and will provide an opportunity to increase awareness and action before COP251 (already claimed as ‘Blue COP’).