It’s World Ocean’s Day! And although that may not be a big deal to some I personally think it’s something to celebrate. Covering about 71% of the earths surface, the ocean is the lifeline for the planet; and thus OUR lifeline. The ocean provides us with food, medicine, water and oxygen. It’s beautiful and strong. If you’re not immersing yourself within and beneath it’s waves then you’re only experiencing 29% of the planet. 29%! It’s time to appreciate what we have surrounding us. And it’s time to make a change.
Let’s start by reducing the amount of plastics we use. Straws get stuck in the noses of sea-turtles, fish are consuming plastics in their diet, corals are suffocating under discarded garbage bags. This week alone I spent my days snorkeling right off a public beach here in St. Maarten and was appalled by the amount of trash building up on the ocean floor. In fact, I think I saw more trash than actual marine life. Sea grasses that could be good for sea turtle grazing were littered with beer cans and plastic bags.
We can also start conserving, protecting and appreciating threatened and endangered species. For example, fishing out sharks, an apex predator helping to maintain balance in the food-webs of the environments they occupy will only provide a one-off value for their fins and meat. However, sharks kept alive in their environment are worth much more in the economy through tourism; bringing in money and providing jobs throughout an entire lifetime, instead of providing a one-time profit after being fished.
It’s time we start spreading awareness about the importance of our oceans. Become involved. Go diving or snorkeling. See all that the ocean offers and the beauty of the environment we should be embracing and protecting, not using and degrading. Become aware. Get involved.