World Oceans Day is a global celebration to honour the ocean. Oceans cover 71% of our planet’s surface, contains 97% of its water and makes up 95% of all the space available to life. A healthy ocean is critical to our survival and this is an opportunity to honour, help protect and conserve our world’s ocean.
This year’s theme is ‘Together We Can’ and it focuses on what we can all do together to create a healthy ocean and better future.
There are many reasons that the ocean is important:
1. It generates most of the oxygen we breath. Rainforests are responsible for 28% of the Earth’s oxygen but a huge 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by marine plants as a by-product of photosynthesis. The remaining 2% comes from other sources.
2. It helps feed to us. It is estimated that the global per head consumption of seafood is 22.3 kg.
3. Regulates our climate, the majority of the sun’s heat is absorbed by the ocean, it then moves warm water to the poles and cold water back to the tropics. Without these currents the weather would be extreme and fewer places would be habitable.
It also regulates rain and droughts, holding 97% of the water to our planet, almost all rain comes from the sea. When water molecules are heated, they evaporate. Ocean water is constantly evaporating, increasing the temperature and humidity to form rain and storms that can travel vast distances when carried by winds.
4. The oceans shipping routes provide convenient transport routes that carry around 90% of all trade between countries. These ships transport everything from food and fuel to construction materials, chemicals, and household items.
Despite all its uses and how much of it there is, it’s estimated that only 5% of it has been explored. Who knows what else there is to explore and the benefits it might hold in the future, that’s why it’s even more important to protect it now.
There are plenty of ways for you to join in and protect our oceans, whether it’s on your own or part of a group. There are organised events to help protect the ocean and you can find your nearest one here