A petition on establishing a "Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights" is set to be presented to the UN General Assembly in September this year ©Peter Broegger

World Sailing has urged the sailing community around the globe to support the One Blue Voice petition on establishing a "Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights", insisting the "time to act is now".

The campaign by The Ocean Race asks members of the public to back the declaration which is expected to be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2023.

World Sailing is marking World Ocean Day - an event held annually on June 8 - by announcing its backing and calling on everyone in the sport to add their voice to the cause.

"The time to act is now - the global sailing community must add its chorus to One Blue Voice," said Alexandra Rickham, head of sustainability for World Sailing.

"As sailors we are uniquely placed to see the daily damage done to our oceans. 

"And, as sailors, it is our duty to do all we can to protect the health of our oceans.

"World Ocean Day looks to unite a global network of youth and organisational leaders in more than 150 countries by rallying the world to protect and restore our blue planet."

Last year, the event saw more than 10,000 organisations and businesses coordinated over 15,000 events in about 140 countries participate.

The Ocean Race has revealed a special film today to mark the World Ocean Day featuring several water sport world champions.

Among those include The Ocean Race sailors Abby Ehler of Britain and Boris Herrmann of Germany - as well as Olympic gold medallist sailor Xu Lijia of China, kitesurfing champion Mitu Monteiro of Cape Verde, freediver Guillaume Nery of France and windsurfing champion Josh Angulo of the United States.

"World Sailing has a comprehensive 56-point Sustainability Agenda which outlines how we will contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030," added Rickham.

"World Ocean Day offers the entire sport an opportunity to reflect on our progress and assess what more we can do to look after the seas.

"Member National Authorities (MNAs), class associations, sailing clubs, event organisers and sailors must work together to protect our oceans."