Governments, businesses and environmentalists are coming together to help raise awareness of the declining health of the world’s oceans for World Oceans Day 2014, which takes place on Sunday.
Home to well over half of all species currently in existence, the Earth’s oceans cover 70% of its surface and hold 97% of its water. And yet, just 2.8% are currently protected, with overfishing depleting fish stocks to levels so low that as much as 85% can now be classed as overexploited.
Hundreds of events are set to take place across the globe to raise awareness of the problem. Organisers are encouraging people to take small steps, including eliminating junk mail to reduce marine debris, obtaining a renewable energy credit to help combat ocean acidification and generally spreading the word about sustainable seafood.
World Oceans Day co-ordinator Alyssa Isakower said, “In addition to events in dozens of countries, we invite everyone to take ocean conservation personally by making a commitment and then sharing a selfie for the sea. We can each do something to help protect our ocean.”
US secretary of state John Kerry called in February for a massive expansion of the world’s marine reserves, urging governments to work together to protect our oceans. He said the ocean crisis “doesn’t know borders. It’s trans-boundary”.
In an open letter to Kerry on World Oceans Day, Greenpeace USA senior oceans campaigner Phil Kline urged him to back up his words with concrete action to protect the oceans.
Elsewhere, a poll by web domain provider dotBlue found over half (58%) of people in the UK are worried about swimming or bathing in the sea because of pollution fears. A similar figure – 56% – said they had seen someone drop litter in the sea in the past.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) agreed that more could be done to raise awareness of the oceans crisis and the best measures to protect them.
Photo: Oktaviani Marvikasari via freeimages