A United Nations agency on Wednesday urged the international community to invest in scientific research to protect the world’s oceans which are increasingly threatened by pollution and global warming.

Audrey Azoulay, director general of the United Nation’s educational, scientific and cultural organisation UNESCO stated this at the opening of a three-day conference in Barcelona dedicated to the protection of the oceans.

Audrey Azoulay warned oceans were “suffocating”, with new temperature records being set regularly.

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