“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea.” – Sylvia Earle
World Ocean Day is held annually on 8th June. The purpose of the day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilise and unite people to advocate for sustainable management of the world’s oceans. This year, World Oceans Day aims to focus attention on the ‘scourge of plastic pollution’ in our oceans. The theme is prompted by the catastrophic amount of plastic that is ending up in our oceans.
Interesting facts about our oceans:
- Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the earth’s water, and represent 99% of the living space on the planet by volume
- Rising sea temperatures are expected to slash catches of main fish species by 40% by 2050
- Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein
- The average depth of the Earth’s oceans is more than 12,000ft (3,700 metres)
- There are 230,000 known species in our oceans but as over 95 per cent has yet to be explored, the total number could amount to more than two million
- The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on earth. It covers 30% of the earth’s surface
Here we have listed 5 ways we can help to protect our oceans:
Photo credit: Pexels
There are many things we can do as individuals to reduce our plastic consumption. You can make a difference today – and every day — by doing simple things like carrying your own water bottle, coffee cup and shopping bags, recycling the plastic you buy and avoiding products that contain microplastics.
2. Minimize waste
Photo credit: Future of the ocean
In total, 50 per cent of the plastic we use is single use. Next time you go shopping make sure you take a non plastic carrier bag with you and try to buy fruits, vegetables, meats and other produce with as little plastic packaging as possible. Banning microplastics and single-use plastics will help reduce wastage and may lead us to veer away from a throwaway culture.
3. Clean the beach
Photo credit: Wikimedia
The power of active individuals to make a difference should never be underestimated. Visitors to the beach can make a difference in just a few minutes by picking up the plastic fragments before they are swallowed by marine life and enter the food chain, disrupting fragile ecosystems.
4. Catch limit
Photo credit: Unsplash
Despite 3 billion people relying on seafood as a key source of protein, around 85 percent of global fish stocks are over-exploited. Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires countries to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”. The doomed fate of fish stocks could be avoided if we remove old economic management models and replace them with scientifically informed incentives.
5. Conserve habitat
Photo credit: GreenPeace
Our oceans face a rising tide of threats to their health, from climate change to pollution to overfishing. These threats imperil the ocean’s ability to sustain our lives — threats that we alone have the power to stop. Help efforts by making a regular donation, or offering your time to work as a volunteer to help conserve our oceans.