World Oceans Day is a reminder that our oceans support humanity’s sustenance and are a critical life source. Covering over 70% of the planet, the oceans are the lungs of the earth producing as much as 80% of our oxygen needs.
Home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and the main source of protein for people around the world, approximately three billion people’s livelihoods are impacted by ocean-based activities.
Sadly, the ocean needs help because we are taking more from the ocean than it can replenish—90% of big fish populations are depleted and 50% of coral reefs are destroyed. More than ever, we need to give back to the ocean its life.
According to the UN, the theme this year is “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing”. The organisation is partnering with indigenous leaders, decision-makers, private sector executives, scientists, celebrities, and youth activists to put the ocean first.
The purpose of the day is to raise awareness and inspire action in order to preserve the well-being of our marine ecosystems and biodiversity and the planet as a whole. By highlighting these values, it encourages governments, individuals, and communities to take action from human activities that hurt our oceans such as overfishing and habitat destruction.
The oceans provide an abundance of resources that support the lives of human beings including food, transportation, and recreational practices. The day accentuates the need for sustainable practices and responsible management of ocean resources. It promotes the preservation of coastal ecosystems, the reduction of marine pollution, and sustainable fishing.
Because oceans absorb a significant amount of carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the oceans play a vital role in regulating our climate. The day reminds us of the impact of climate change such as coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and rising sea levels, therefore, encouraging us to address these issues and take action.
Without collaboration, almost nothing can be done. The day encourages governments, organisations, communities, and individuals around the world to work together to see change. By promoting collaboration, World Ocean Day pushes individuals to amplify and join efforts to focus on the needs of our oceans.