European Wilderness Society

World oceans day

World oceans day is celebrated on June 8th, a day dedicated to honoring and protecting the world’s oceans. This annual event, officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, aims to raise awareness about the crucial role oceans play in our lives and to promote actions that can protect and save the blue blanket of our planet. 

The Importance of Oceans 

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth. The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen and absorbs about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming

It is home to most of earth’s biodiversity and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.  

Beside that oceans also provide other benefits, like recreation places and activities, seafood, transportation and ingredients for medicine

Threats to Oceans  

Human activities are threatening the health of the world’s oceans. More than 80 percent of marine pollution comes from land-based activities. From coral bleaching to sea level rise, entire marine ecosystems are rapidly changing

1. Pollution: including plastics, chemicals, and agricultural runoff. Plastic pollution is particularly alarming, with millions of tons of plastic entering the oceans each year, harming marine life and ecosystems.  

2. Global warming: Rising global temperatures and increased CO2 levels are causing ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and rising sea levels. Global warming is causing alterations in ocean chemistry and many oceanic processes, and it is threatening many species of marine animals that cannot cope with higher temperatures. These changes threaten marine biodiversity and coastal communities.  

3. Overfishing: Unsustainable fishing practices have reduced many fish stocks, disrupting marine food chains and economies dependent on fishing.  

What can we do 

Understanding that oceans are crucial for our planet is a start. Raising awareness and educating more people about the importance of oceans can lead to more actions to protect oceans. We can reduce plastic use and try to fight global warming. Projects like Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument have helped preserve critical habitats and biodiversity. 

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