World Oceans Day 2020: Why We Need to #ProtectOurHome
What is World Oceans Day?
World Oceans Day is an annual celebration of our shared ocean, which connects us all. It’s purpose is to connect people to work together to protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats, with a global community collaborating since 1992.
This year, World Oceans Day is calling on world leaders to safeguard 30% of our blue planet by 2030, a new campaign called 30x30. To help promote this initiative and show your support for ocean conservation, you can sign this petition.
Why do we need to protect our oceans?
Oceans cover 71% of our Earth’s surface and make up 95% of all the space available to life. Incredible environmentalists around the world have been battling on behalf of marine life for decades, but unfortunately there is so much more to be done, as governments still fail to take the threat of biodiversity loss and mass extinction seriously. Here are ten facts about the impacts of human activity and climate change on the ocean to keep in mind for World Oceans Day:
- By 2050, there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish - 937 million tonnes of plastic vs 895 million tonnes of fish. (Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
- Over just 40 years there has been a 39% decrease in marine species due to overfishing (Source: Fish Forward)
- As oceans warm, sea ice is at record lows, putting animals like polar bears, penguins seals and walruses at risk of losing their habitats. (Source: Conservation International)
- Light and noise pollution is impacting circadian rhythms of fish living in shallow reefs near urban environments, which affect migration and reproduction, and disrupting the underwater communication of mammals like whales and dolphins. (Source: National Geographic)
- There are approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic in the ocean - 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy. (Source: Surfers Against Sewage)
- Scientists estimate if temperatures continue to rise, by 2050 the oceans will be too warm for coral reefs to survive. (Source: WWF)
- Sea levels have been rising by 3.3mm a year globally since 1993 (Source: NASA)
- Chemical fertilisers are triggering massive blooms of algae that rob the water of oxygen, creating ‘dead zones’ where marine organisms cannot survive (Source: National Geographic)
- The Great Barrier Reef has suffered it’s third mass bleaching event in five years, triggered by rising temperatures (Source: CNN)
- Fishing nets make up 86% of the large plastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and fishing equipment accounts for 85% of the plastic pollution on the sea floor. (Source: Eco Watch)
How to take action on ocean conservation
As well as signing the World Oceans Day petition, there are countless other ways to get involved in the fight against ocean pollution, overfishing and rising temperatures and sea levels.
Firstly, you can directly donate to wildlife protection efforts by symbolically adopting a sea creature from WWF. Adopt a blue whale, sea turtle, harbor seal, dolphin, emperor penguin, manatee, orca or great white shark - these also make great gifts for a fellow eco warrior!
Next up, remember that with every Global WAKEcup purchase, you are helping the Marine Conservation Society’s campaign to make our seas and shorelines more sustainable. We donate 10% of profits to their work around the UK - shop now to show your support. MCS also have lots of ways to participate directly, including volunteering, fundraising and becoming a Sea Champion.
Last but certainly not least, remember that single use plastics pose a huge threat to marine life. After fishing nets, the biggest sources of plastic pollution in the ocean include food wrappers, drinking straws, carrier bags, coffee cups and plastic bottles, as well as microplastics that wash off from textiles and cosmetics. Become a more conscious consumer by starting the journey to reduce your waste. We’ve compiled some simple zero waste starter kits to help you switch to reusable products: