It’s A Fact! Conservation Edition
Celebrating World Ocean Day
Take action for our ocean this World Ocean Day by becoming an ocean advocate on the big issues! How does sharing these “big issue” facts with other’s help our oceans?
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” ― Baba Dioum
Knowledge is power so share these simplified explainers about ocean threats to charge up the conservation consciousness in your community:
- Plastic pollution is a major threat to the ocean. It is estimated that over 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, harming marine life and ecosystems. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Plastic has been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest known location on Earth.
- Climate change impacts the ocean by causing ocean acidification, rising sea levels and changes in water temperature. These changes pose risks to:
- Coral reefs, by leading to bleaching events as well as acidification hindering their ability to build and maintain their protective structures;
- All marine species, by affecting their natural migration, mating and reproductive functions which are guided by temperature, currents and other ocean movements.
- Polar (Arctic and Antarctic) and coastal populations, through erosion of habitat.
- Rising sea levels also unequivocally affect human coastal communities. They will experience coastal erosion, increased flooding and storms, saltwater intrusion into freshwater systems, and the loss of coastal homes, infrastructure and livelihoods.
- Overfishing is a significant concern for the ocean’s health. It can disrupt marine ecosystems, deplete fish populations, and negatively impact the livelihoods of people who depend on fishing. By 2030, fish will be “off the menu” in most countries as supply chains crumble under current demands. You can help be choosing only sustainably sourced seafood. Sustainable fishing practices, such as implementing catch limits and using selective fishing gear, are crucial for maintaining healthy fish populations and ensuring the long-term sustainability of fisheries.
- Protected areas, such as marine reserves and national parks, play a vital role in conserving and restoring marine biodiversity. They provide safe havens for marine species to thrive and support sustainable fishing practices. Currently, less than 17% of land and 8% of the ocean worldwide is protected. The World Ocean Day 2023 campaign is focusing on advocacy to secure 30% of our planet’s lands, waters, and oceans as protected zones by 2030, which the COP15 has now committed to.
- Ocean eutrophication, often caused by excessive nutrient runoff from land, leads to harmful algal blooms that deplete oxygen levels in the water, causing dead zones where marine life cannot survive.
- Engaging in responsible tourism and recreation activities in coastal areas is important for minimizing impacts on marine ecosystems. Respecting marine life and reefs, avoiding littering & disposing of fishing equipment responsibly and using eco-friendly products like reef-safe sunscreen and are crucial for protecting the ocean.