People from across the world are celebrating the oceans on June 8, World Oceans Day, with various initiatives to raise awareness on the crucial role healthy oceans play for the planet and human survival.
Celebrations include workshops on sustainable fisheries in Europe, beach cleaning up in Dubai and restoration of coral reef ecosystems in Borneo.
A report by the WWF, released on Sunday, warned the role of the oceans in supporting human and economic well-being is crucial, but more effort is needed in order to tackle overfishing, pollution and climate change.
According to the analysis, the ocean’s annual output of goods and services is about $2.5 trillion (£1.6tn) and its overall value is $24 trillion (£15.7tn).
Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said, “The ocean is collapsing before our eyes, but the good news is that we have the tools to fix it. We have serious work to do to protect the ocean, starting with real global commitments on climate and sustainable development.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry – who launched the Our Ocean conference last year to increase support for ocean protection – commented, “The ocean makes up such a significant portion of the surface of our planet that it plays a tangible role in creating the air we breathe, regulating our climate, growing the food we eat and cleaning the water we drink. We’re not talking about a vague threat, far off in the distance; the ocean is under enormous stress right now. And overfishing, pollution, and ocean acidification all threaten global standards of living.
“All of us can – and must do – our part. Choosing sustainable seafood, carpooling or public transportation more often, picking up litter, and reusing products are just a few small ways that we can all help to protect the ocean we share. If we all take the steps we’re able to take, day after day, we can work to keep the ocean clean and do our part to promote a sustainable, responsible relationship with our planet.”
Chile will host the next Our Ocean conference in October, in order to continue to work on commitments by governments and NGOs.
Photo: Stephen Edgar via flickr
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