What is missing to prevent severe contamination of & damage to marine ecosystems? Existing environmental protections are often not adhered to or are poorly enforced. Many states and sectors of civil society are speaking out in support of stronger legal frameworks & accountability. The legal recognition of “ecocide” (severe & either widespread or long-term harm to ecosystems) as a crime at the international level could go a long way to shifting attitudes & guiding behaviour with regard to threats of severe pollution to the Earth’s primary life support system – the ocean.