In order to address the issues affecting the marine environment there are a number of regional seas programmes and intergovernmental organisations that aim to protected the marine environment.
The UN Environment Regional Seas Programme, launched in 1974, aims to address the accelerating degradation of the world's oceans and coastal areas through the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment, by engaging neighbouring countries in comprehensive and specific actions to protect their shared marine environment. It has accomplished this by stimulating the creation of Regional Seas programmes prescriptions for sound environmental management to be coordinated and implemented by countries sharing a common body of water. More than 143 countries participate in 13 Regional Seas Programmes established under the auspices of UN Environment. Black Sea, Wider Caribbean,East Asian Seas, Eastern Africa, South Asian Seas, ROPME Sea Area, Mediterranean, North-East Pacific, Northwest Pacific, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, South-East Pacific, Pacific, and Western Africa. Six of these programmes, are directly administered by UN Environment. Furthermore there are 5 partner programmes that work with UN Environment:Antarctic, Arctic, Baltic Sea (HELCOM), Caspian Sea and North-East Atlantic (OSPAR)