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International and National days are marked to either emphasize the importance of finding solutions to global issues or in order to appreciate or remember the deeds of each sector of the community. International and national days can be observed in different yet innovative manner each year by different institutions across the globe. Creating awareness about the world wide issues among the community has become a need of the hour with respect to the impacts we create with our day to day tasks on the planet. Check this article to know more about world ocean day date, history, theme and activities.
World Oceans Day 2023 – Wednesday, 08 June
By the end of the article , readers will be able to gain knowledge on the following
- World oceans day history
- World ocean day theme
- Reasons why ocean is important
- Threats to the Ocean
- Ocean protection quotes
- Steps to save ocean – World Ocean Day Activities
- Ocean Quiz
World Oceans Day History
World ocean day is observed every year on June 8. The world oceans day was officially announced by the united nation in the year 2008. The idea of observing ocean day was proposed by the Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit in the year 1992. This international day also supports the Sustainable development goals and aims to create awareness among the society on the importance of protecting the ocean
During 1987 to 1992 the Brundtland commission which is also known as world commission on environment and development noted in their reported that the ocean sector lacked strong voice when compared to the other sectors. In 2004 In 2004, The Ocean Project and World Ocean Network launched the petition “Help Make a Difference for our Ocean Planet!” to recognize June 8 as the world oceans day.
World Oceans Day Theme 2023
“Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing” will be the subject of World Oceans Day in 2023. The United Nations aims to highlight through this topic that oceans are critical to human survival and that we should prioritise them.
The following are the theme of the world ocean day from 2009 to 2021.
- Theme 2009: “Our Oceans, Our Responsibilities”.
- Theme 2010: “Our Oceans: Opportunities and Challenges”
- Theme 2011: “Our Oceans: greening our future”
- Theme 2012: “UNCLOS @ 30”
- Theme 2013: “Oceans & People”
- Theme 2014: “Ocean Sustainability: Together let’s ensure oceans can sustain us into the future”
- Theme 2015: “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”
- Theme 2016: “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”
- Theme 2017: “Our Oceans, Our Future”
- Theme 2018: “Clean our Ocean!”
- Theme 2019: “Gender and Oceans”
- Theme 2020: “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”
- Theme 2021: “The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods”
- Theme 2022: “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”
Reasons Why the Ocean is Important
1. Ocean produces more than 50% of the oxygen on earth
Phytoplankton plays a major role being a part of ocean and fresh water system. The Phytoplankton in the oceans are the reason for the production of more than 50% of the oxygen. They undergo photosynthesis like plants and trees on land. They are found near the well lit surface layers of the oceans and lakes. Like plants they contain chlorophyll through which they absorb sunlight and through photosynthesis they convert it to energy and release oxygen to the atmosphere thus being the major contributor of oxygen to the land.
2. The ocean helps in regulating the climate of the earth
Ocean covers approximately seventy percentage of the earth’s surface. The Ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles thus regulating the climate at equator regions. It also transports cold water from the poles to the tropics thus regulating the climate conditions in both the places. If this regulation of weather and climate does not happen then the weather conditions would have been extreme in one region and few areas will not be suitable for habitat as well. The ocean also plays a role with respect to rain and droughts.
3. Ocean accounts for being the major source of food
Ocean serves as main source of nutrients to billions of people around the world. The wide variety of fishes serves as a important nutrient for consumption to the point that it serves approximately sixteen percentage of the animal protein consumed worldwide.
4. Ocean provides home to an abundance of life
Ocean is a home for large species of life. From smallest microorganism to the largest whale , it provides home for different species of living organism. Ocean contributes to about 90% of habitable space on the earth including variation in plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. Till now the exact number of species in the ocean is not known. The world’s oceans has around 500,000 to 10 million marine species.
5. Ocean provides economic benefits
In most of the developing countries millions of people rely on ocean for their jobs and livelihood. Specially in the coastal areas , tourism and fisheries contribute to most of the income of the people in those areas. Currently the marine technologies, renewable energy, aquaculture, biotechnology, offshore oil and gas has increased the economy by greater extent thus providing jobs to many. Ocean based industries also play a major role in this.
Threats to the Ocean – Causes of Ocean Pollution
- Ocean Acidification: Human activities as caused an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Ocean absorbs 30% of the the CO2 from the atmosphere. As the CO2 absorbed by the seawater increases due to chemical reactions the concentration of hydrogen ion increases. Ocean acidification causes harmful effects on the ocean species.
- Global warming: The ocean absorbs heat from the green house gas emissions which is causing the rise in the ocean temperatures. The increasing temperature of the ocean is affecting the marine Eco system.
- Excessive usage of plastic: Plastic that end up in oceans are mistaken by the marine wildlife for food and they finally reach their stomach. Thousands of marine animals like sea birds, turtles and whales aare killed each year due to plastic pollution.
- Poor waste management: Sewage and harmful chemical waste from factories when left to ocean causes ocean pollution with the toxic chemicals. Inappropriate waste management from factories cause serious concern to ocean and its marine life.
- Over-fishing: Over-fishing and poor fishing management has endangered our marine species. Over fishing is the worst impact humans have done to the oceans. It is estimated that more than 70% of the world’s fish species have been exploited. Fishing the species more faster than they can reproduce is causing this. It is estimated that 31.4 percent of fish stocks are either fished to capacity or over fished.
Ocean Protection Quotes
- “I said that the oceans were sick but they’re not going to die. There is no death possible in the oceans – there will always be life — but they’re getting sicker every year.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer
- “The Ocean is a mighty harmonist.” – William Wordsworth
“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men will never gather up all the plastic and put the ocean back together again.” – Charles Moore, Marine Researcher
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer
“Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something.” – Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer
- “We are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to.” – Terri Swearingen, Environmentalist
- “We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.” – President Bill Clinton
World Ocean Day Activities – Ways to Observe World Ocean Day
The following are the few measures that can be taken into consideration as part of observation of world oceans day
- Communities can organize clean up campaigns near the coastal area and nearby beaches. Schools and institutions can also organize clean up campaign to raise awareness among the people on the importance of keeping the oceans clean.
- The usage of plastics should be reduced so that it can be avoided of being ended up in the oceans. No plastic campaign can be conducted at schools, institutions and localities to educate the community on the harmful effect of plastic on the environment.
- Surveys can be conducted to understand the knowledge of people with respect to ocean pollution. Action can be taken based on the analysis of the survey and thus awareness campaigns can be conducted to educate the society on the same.
- Try to reduce energy consumption at your homes and institution. Try to use public mode of transport. switch off the power when not required.
- Usage of solar energy can be emphasized.
- Educate the uneducated. Organize a campaign to educate the fishermen in your locality on the harmful effects of leaving the fishing equipment in the ocean
- Dispose of the medical waste appropriately. Educate the society on the appropriate disposal of medicines. The half used syrups and the unused ointments has to be disposed very carefully. Check on it and also educate the rest.
- Appropriate waste management has to be taken into consideration. Stop the waste from reaching the sea for it causes harm to the marine life of the ocean.
- Check for the appropriate disposal of electronic waste in your locality. Educate students and society on the harmful effects of e waste on the ocean.
- Water conservation has to be taken into consideration. Do not waste water and also educate the people on the importance of water conservation
World Ocean Day Quiz 2023
1) How many oceans are there in the world?
Answer: There are 5 recognized oceanic bodies.
2) Why do the oceans appear blue?
Answer: The oceans absorb red light and scatter blue light
3) Which oceanic features were first discovered by the Challenger expedition?
Answer: Mid Atlantic Ridge
4) Which important chemical do all oceans contain?
5) What is the deepest known area found in our oceans?
The Mariana Trench
6) What is the deepest known point found in our oceans?
7) What percent of ocean species have yet to be classified?
8) Which cod species has a better resilience to ocean warming?
Answer: Atlantic cod
9) What is the total chromosome count for the Sturgeon fish?
Answer: The cultured sturgeon has the second-highest chromosome count among vertebrates, with 437 chromosomes reported.
10) Where are the largest rhodolith beds in the world found?
Answer: Abrolhos Shelf in Eastern Brazil.
Act upon before its too late. It is everyone’s duty to protect the planet. Do consider the future generation. Understand the importance of protecting the water resources, the threats to the ocean and prevent it before it is too late.