Today it’s World Oceans Day – the day to celebrate the majesty of the world’s oceans and raise awareness about their preservation.
Why are they so important? The world’s oceans generate an estimated 70% of the earth’s oxygen. They regulate the globe’s climate and weather. They support marine life. They provide us with food, and ingredients for many of our medicines.
In short, healthy oceans contributes to a healthy earth. But our oceans and marine life are under threat: from pollution and overfishing, to name just two of the challenges they face.
World Oceans Day is a celebration of the globe’s oceans. It is made up of a series of events all over the world and each year is themed.
The conservation focus of the day is to inspire a worldwide fight against plastic pollution.
The United Nation’s World Oceans Day designated theme this year is “Gender and Oceans”. This is to highlight the important role gender equality has to play in ensuring effective conservation of our oceans, seas and marine life.
The day will be used to publicise the advancement of gender equality in such ocean-related areas as marine scientific research, migration by sea and human trafficking, and policy-making.
5 ways to help protect our oceans:
- Focus on your plastic use
Although recycling processes are ever-developing, when it comes to plastic, it’s best not to use it at all. Take a reusable cup to the coffee shop, use a reusable carrier bag at the supermarket, choose loose vegetables and fruit, say ‘no’ to plastic straws… There are many things you can (and should!) do.
- Buy sustainable fish and seafood
We might love our cod and chips, and that tuna sarnie at the canteen. The bad news is we’re running out of their main ingredient. The good news is there are plenty of other fish in the sea.
Ask your fishmonger for currently sustainable options, such as hake, dab, mackerel or pollack. If you’re unsure if the fish you want to buy is sustainable, look it up in the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide.
- Visit a beach to pick up waste
Or else, why not join a community beach clean event.
- Support charities supporting the oceans
From The Marine Conservation Society to Plastic Oceans UK, there are a number of charities you can support to help the world’s oceans and seas.
You can also sponsor marine animals – why not a whale or dolphin through the Hebridean Dolphin and Whale Trust?
- Talk about the oceans
Keep the conversation going. It’s great to be getting involved on World Oceans Day itself, but there are other 364 days in the year.
Keep thinking about ways to help, spread the word in your local community, and if you go to a beach this summer – anywhere in the world – keep an eye out that plastic, and if safe to do so, pick it up.