Without the oceans we would not have rain because when a drop of water is lifted out of the sea up to form a cloud, it is then blown over land to bring us rain. Without this, the land would dry out. What’s more, the plankton of the oceans produce oxygen through photosynthesis to feed the fish and mammals of the sea oxygen – otherwise they would suffocate. The ocean gives us two-thirds of the planet’s oxygen, which means every two breaths out of three you take, the oxygen is coming from the seas. Be grateful for this. The oceans are literally giving us life.
World Ocean Day is on the 8th June 2017 and this coincides with the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York at the headquarters of the UN. The goal of this conference is to bring about change across every country, corporation and citizen of the planet to actively help protect and clean the oceans of the mountains of rubbish, plastics, chemicals, pesticides, oil, radioactive waste and everything else we throw into the oceans without a thought as to who is going to clean up our mess. The answer is it has to be us. There is no one else to do it. What was once considered out of sight and so ‘out of mind’ is no longer the case. The oceans are returning our own garbage back to us. As a consequence, the United Nations is urging all of the planet to commit to and implement their Sustainable Development Goal 14. SDG14 has specific targets to reduce marine debris and urges all of the citizens of the planet, especially governments and corporations to put into practice ways in which this can be, to increase and protect marine protected areas and zones and be more resilient in their protection, reduce acidification of the oceans, to end over-fishing by effective regulation, to remove subsidies for fisheries in order to end over-fishing, to help small fishing communities and those that rely directly on the oceans for their livelihoods through promoting conservation and to push countries to make it law around the world to implement conservation measures in order to protect the oceans.
The World Foundation for Natural Science applauds the UN and wholeheartedly supports SDG14. We urge all nations, nation-states, governments, corporations, academia, charities, conservation groups, schools and citizens of the planet to support these measures and actively engage in their establishment and on-going success. The oceans give us life, and without there being a vibrant, joyous environment for all sea dwellers then we will not be able to live such vibrant, joyous lives ourselves.
Plastic pollution is now headline news. We are all dumping so much plastic into the oceans that we are causing the oceans to suffocate. Where this plastic is photosynthesizing and creating a plastic soup at the surface and just below it, phytoplankton cannot produce oxygen. This means that life below the plastic soup is being starved of oxygen and also we are receiving less oxygen ourselves to breathe. Our planet’s fellow inhabitants, our brothers and sisters of the oceans, need our help now. Individually we can do so much to help our oceans. The large ocean-going mammals are dying out, poisoned and hunted. These highly intelligent creatures that we are only beginning to understand need our love and gratitude and actions to protect them. India has granted dolphins human status in labelling them ‘non-human persons’. When we begin to recognise these wonderful beings as intelligent, social, that have emotions and memory and the power to communication, surely it is time for the world to support SDG14. For when we begin to help these wonderful larger mammals in the oceans we help all life in the oceans. The chain of life will continue and we will all flourish, humans and the ocean’s inhabitants, hand-in-hand. Let us work to clean and restore these beautiful oceans and as a result restore our beautiful planet.
Let us take the first step by changing habits in our daily life and then go even further:
- Be aware of all plastics around you: Stop littering and take plastics you find in nature with you (whether you live near the ocean or not).
- Reduce use of plastic bags or disposable plastic products like coffee cups.
- Reuse things and mend them if broken.
- If you live on the coast, go nurdle hunting.
- Write letters to governments and confirm their commitment for cleaning and protecting the oceans and their life, if they’re not on track yet, get them on track!
- Don’t pollute the water around you, don’t use toxic substances (like pesticides or chemical cleaning agents) and make an effort that in your city sewage is cleaned in a wastewater treatment plant
- Revitalise the water you use with your feelings of gratitude and joy – water gives you life!
- UN Conference on the Oceans: https://oceanconference.un.org
- SDG14: Goal 14 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (un.org)
- LA Times, Drowning in Oceans of Plastic:
- LA Times, Tons of Plastic in the Arctic:
- Nurdle hunting: http://www.nurdlehunt.org.uk/
- Publication: Plastic—It’s time to Clean up