Nature

Why celebrate World Oceans Day?

For those who love water and adventure, the sea is their paradise, between the biodiversity of life and the different water activities that we can do in it, and as they say “Life is sweeter in the sea.” That’s why today we dedicate it to those wonderful places so full of life the Oceans. World Oceans Day is celebrated every year today, June 8. This day is to raise awareness about the importance of the oceans for the existence of all living beings: animals, plants, and people. And besides that they are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, the oceans are an important source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.

As the photographer of this young yellow boxfish (Ostracion cubicus) said, small marine creatures as well as large ones are fascinating and worth protecting. The fish was in a rocky crevice in the Tweed River, New South Wales, Australia. Photo: winner in the Youth Category of World Oceans Day Photo Competition/Jack McKee.

By its resolution 63/111 of 5 December 2008, the UN General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day. The concept of a ‘World Oceans Day’ was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.

One of the objectives is the sustainable management of the oceans, which are an important source of food and medicine and an essential part of the biosphere. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation.  All these are great reasons to celebrate together with the beauty, the richness and the potential of the oceans.

The life underwater is colorful and magical. The star fish and the baby cowrie in this photo reminds us how important it is to keep the oceans free of plastic. Photo: Second runner-up in the Underwater Life Category – World Oceans Day Photo Competition/ Dragos Dumitrescu

This year’s action focus for 2018 is: preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. Plastic pollution is causing tremendous harm to our marine resources. For example:

  • 80% of all pollution in the ocean comes from people on land.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in the ocean, wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism.
  • Plastic pollution costs the lives of 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year.
  • Fish eat plastic, and we eat the fish.
  • Plastic causes $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year.

We invite you to enjoy the beauty and riches of the sea and to become aware and take better care of this wonderful place. How will you celebrate World Ocean’s Day?

* Information from un.org, and cepal.org

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