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World Ocean Day

Published: June 8, 2023 - 10:44
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 02:20
World Ocean Day

The sea occupies 70% of the world’s surface, most of which remains unexplored.

Today serves as a yearly reminder to take action in safeguarding our ocean and climate to prevent further degradation, ensuring a better tomorrow. World Ocean Day celebration was initiated in 2002 and is coordinated annually on June 8th to promote conservation and pollution mitigation on land, seas, and waters.

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On this day, numerous schools and public sectors worldwide come together to commemorate the importance of protecting our oceans and marine life, reaching millions of people. The primary target audience for this day is the youth, as they possess the ability to make a significant impact in the future. As public awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans grows, this yearly event has gained increasing popularity.

The oceans are indeed facing a multitude of threats and hazards as a result of human activities. One major issue is the accumulation of waste in the oceans, which directly harms marine life. Marine animals often mistake plastic fragments for food, leading to ingestion and entanglement, ultimately resulting in their death. Oil spills on the water’s surface also pose a severe threat by suffocating animals that rely on air to breathe. These spills also hinder the natural predation patterns of birds, as they may become stuck in the midst of a spill while attempting to prey on fish.

Another critical role that the oceans play is in cleaning the air of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases that have been excessively emitted into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution, 200 years ago. Through the process of photosynthesis, marine photosynthetic organisms release oxygen (O2) into the air, helping to mitigate the concentration of greenhouse gasses. However, the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere have led to a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. This process decreases the pH of the water, making it more acidic and limiting the amount of oxygen released into the air. Ocean acidification has detrimental effects on marine ecosystems, creating dead zones underwater where marine life struggles to survive.

Communities that heavily rely on marine animals for sustenance and livelihoods are particularly affected by these dead zones. With the main source of protein coming from the sea or estuaries, these communities face significant challenges and food security issues as a result of deteriorating ocean health.

The celebration of World Ocean Day serves as a unifying platform for various stakeholders ranging from major entities like the United Nations and governments to individuals passionate about our oceans’ well-being. It brings together diverse groups such as surfers, divers, swimmers, sailors, and anyone who wishes to raise their voice and contribute to ocean conservation efforts. The celebration aims to address ocean conservation from multiple perspectives by involving a wide range of participants. It recognizes that safeguarding our oceans requires collective action and collaboration across different sectors. Governments and international organisations play a crucial role in formulating policies and implementing measures to protect and preserve our marine ecosystems. At the same time, individuals and recreational groups, like surfers and divers, contribute by raising awareness, promoting sustainable practices, and actively engaging in conservation activities.

The ultimate goal of this collective effort is to ensure a better future with clean air and seas abundant biodiversity, and thriving marine ecosystems. By joining forces, stakeholders strive to secure conservation rights for our oceans, promote sustainable practices, and foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the critical role that oceans play in supporting life on Earth.

 

World Ocean Day is a global event celebrated by countries all around the world. It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008 and is observed annually on June 8th. The purpose of World Ocean Day is to raise awareness about the importance of our oceans, promote sustainable use of marine resources, and encourage conservation efforts.

Countries from every continent participate in World Ocean Day celebrations, organizing various events and activities to engage their communities and highlight the significance of preserving our oceans. These may include beach cleanups, educational workshops, art exhibitions, film screenings, and social media campaigns.

Some countries with notable World Ocean Day celebrations include the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, India, Japan, and many European countries. However, it’s important to note that the event is not limited to these nations, as countless communities around the globe come together to honor and protect our oceans on this special day.

 

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About author

Jasmine Mifsud
Jasmine Mifsud, who hails from Malta, has an incredible interest in the water surrounding the small island. Her passion for the sea is not surprising, since as a little girl, her biggest dream was to explore the oceans. This ambition created its own pathway as every decision she ever made led her to become an influential woman who decided to create a life for herself instead of living in someone else’s shoes. As time flew by, she became more adventurous and curious about our blue planet. She specialized in environmental sciences and took a tangent route into maritime archaeology, which she considers to be one of her best decisions to date. Throughout her journey, she has built friendships with some of the most inspiring divers globally, all of whom share unique experiences and stories worth listening to. As a young woman in the industry, her journey has only just begun.
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