World Ocean Day : highlighting its importance

World Ocean Day : highlighting its importance
  • PublishedJune 8, 2023

What do Lucas Bravo, Jason Momoa Sylvia Earle and H.E Antonio Guterres have in common ? They are all speakers for World Ocean Day 2023

World Ocean Day was created as a reminder of the major role the ocean plays in our way of life. First declared on June 8, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, the celebration become an annual event in 2008.

It was introduced around the same time as the implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The ocean produces 50 % of the planet’s oxygen and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people. It absorbs 23 % of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

However, the absorption of CO2 leads to rising ocean temperature and acidified waters. The de-oxygenation creates dead zones, deserted by suffocating flora and fauna.

As if that weren’t enough, humanity is also polluting and destroying the ocean. 90% of large fish populations have been decimated and 50% of coral reefs have been destroyed. Furthermore, plastic accounts for 85% of marine litter. Cigarettes butts and chemical such as sunscreens, fertilizers and oil can cause long-term mortality.

They lead to the development of abnormalities, weakened immune response and reduced fertility to marine species.

Overfishing threatens the remaining species. According to the FAO, 1/3 of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited.

Measures must therefore be taken to avoid the consequences of pollution. The draft treaty on plastics is a first step in the right direction.

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