What does ocean conservation mean to you and how much are you willing to give up in order to conserve our oceans? Do you know what role oceans play in each of our lives and what we all could do to protect them and restore them? Our oceans are under massive stress: too many fish are being fished, too much junk is being thrown in and almost nothing is being done to conserve marine ecosystems.
Oceans cover nearly three quarters of our planet and hold mysteries of our past, and they are vital for our future survival. Life in the sea provides 70% of the oxygen of the air and absorbs much of the carbon dioxide. The oceans stabilize the planet’s temperature and regulate weather. Ninety-seven per cent of Earth’s water is ocean.
On the surface, the ocean may look calm and serene. But, beneath the surface is a different story. All around the world, our oceans are in crisis. Fish slaughter continues to put endangered species at risk and pollution from land-based sources is turning the oceans into a dumping ground. Throughout the seven seas, there are many industries committing crimes against nature, but no one is holding them accountable. Conservation of oceans seems like a distant dream.
Even the deep and remote areas that once served as refuges from fishing are no longer safe havens; today the fish have no place to hide. Just as threatening to the ecosystem is the impact that depleted fisheries has on other fish, marine mammals, and sea birds. Local human communities too face dire consequences. All that relies on other robust fisheries for food must compete in depleted fisheries for sustenance and their way of life. The competition is huge factory ships employing massive trawling nets.
Our oceans once seemed like an infinite resource, but today they face so many threats that their future is in question. We know less about our oceans than we do about outer space, but our activities threaten to destroy oceans that were once teeming with life. The main threats are pollution, bottom trawling, factory fishing, overfishing, bycatch, pirate fishing, whaling, global warming. What more could we possibly do to harm them further?
From afar the Earth is blue with an all-encompassing ocean, the source of all life. Without the oceans, Earth would be a bleak barren desert of solitude and sorrow, a place similar to Mars or the Moon. Every drop of water we drink, every breath of air we take is connected intrinsically to the seas. The blue part of the Earth’s surface is changing faster than ever. There has never been a better time to help conserve our oceans.
Credit: Excerpts from “The Oceans are in a crisis. Greenpeace has a plan to save them“, Greenpeace International
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