On the 8th of June each year events take place across the world to celebrate World Oceans Day. This year’s theme is Revitalisation: Collective action for the Ocean.
It’s easy to forget how important our oceans are, we are all a bit guilty of taking this beautiful world for granted but our oceans provide us with SO many benefits. Many of which we don't even know about! Here are just a just a few reasons as to why it is so important that we restore, and protect our oceans, because lets face it, we couldn't live without it!
- Our oceans produce 50-80% of all oxygen on earth - this is huge in comparison to the 9% of oxygen that the Amazon Rainforest provides.
- Our oceans help to regulate global warming by capture and storing greenhouse gases. The ocean and coastal ecosystems absorb 4x the amount of carbon as the Amazon Rainforest (theres a theme here!).
- It is home to thousands of species and ecosystems like coral reefs and seagrass which are so important for ecological biodiversity.
- It provides a food source for millions of people worldwide.
Currently, only 5% of the ocean is protected from harmful activities. Two years ago, there was a campaign for world leaders to commit to protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030, but sadly little progress has been made!
These protected areas are known as MPAs, or Marine Protected Areas. They provide a haven for marine species by offering a safe breeding ground to help sustain and replenish populations. Importantly, can help to recover vulnerable or endangered species that have fallen victim to activities such as overfishing, or bottom trawling.
MPAs also support the protection of important ecosystems. In recent years coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves have all experienced a global decline due to global warming, coastal development, and industrial pollution. These marine and coastal ecosystems play an important role in helping to limit global warming.
Global warming doesn’t just heat up our atmosphere, but our oceans too. Warmer oceans can’t hold as much oxygen as colder ones and this means many marine species struggle to adapt to these new conditions. If our oceans continue to warm up, we could see a big decline in species. Warmer oceans also result in melting ice sheets and rising sea levels – in April 2023, sea surface temperatures reached a record high of 21.1 Degrees Celsius, making World Oceans Day more important than ever!
Head to World Ocean Day to learn more about how you can take action, and what events are taking place all over the world to protect and restore our oceans.