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Did you know that June 8th is World Oceans Day? Well, now you do! This world wide celebrated event is all about raising awareness and protecting our oceans – that sadly are facing threats across the globe.
First things first… Why should we try and protect our oceans? Why are they so important? Here are just a few of the reasons why -
1. Now, hopefully from school you can all remember that plants are a huge source of our oxygen. They take the carbon dioxide and through photosynthesis they produce the oxygen that we need to, you know, survive. What they may not have told you is that ACTUALLY the majority of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean!! That’s right, there is teeny tiny little thing called ‘phytoplankton’. These float along the surface of the ocean happily converting carbon dioxide to oxygen so we can all you know…live.
2. They help feed us. There are thousands of communities in the world that rely on the sea for food. We’re not talking about heading out for sushi, we mean those tiny little villages, hundreds of miles from supermarkets, that use the ocean as their main food source. If we don’t protect our oceans the amount of fish will drop dramatically and these communities will struggle to feed themselves.
3. They regulate our climate. Without the ocean the world climates would be far more dramatic! The cold areas would be far colder, and the hot areas far hotter. The currents transport the warm water from the Equator towards the North and South Poles. Then cooler water is brought from the poles towards to equator, cooling that area down. Without the currents the differences in temperature would be far more dramatic and much less bearable!
4. They are the largest ecosystem on Earth! The underwater world coves 75% of the globe and contains over 50% of the world’s species, in fact some scientist believe nearly 80%! Not only that, but we’ve only explored 5% of the world’s oceans, so who knows what else is down there?!
5. The ocean is home to some of the oldest species on earth!! The first shark appeared over 420 million years ago – before the dinosaurs! Things must be pretty bad if they are facing extinction having survived that long.
So, what can we do the protect the Ocean?
Well, there are many things, and sometimes it seems like a task too daunting to even begin. But, don’t let that get you down! If everyone makes small changes, together we can make a huge difference!
1. Reduce your plastic use. Plastic has become a huge part of every day life; shopping bags, straws, water bottles and so much more. But many of these we can live without. Grab yourself a bag for life to keep with you, say no to straws and buy a reusable water bottle. They may seem like small changes, but the overall impact will be huge. A scary amount of our trash ends up in the ocean, and this discarded plastic is smothering the reef and suffocating marine life.
2. Organise a clean up. It doesn’t matter if you're close to the beach or not, grab a bunch of friends and head out to clean up some rubbish. Beach cleans are preferred by most
people as you get a nice day out too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean up your local park or town.
3. Reduce your seafood consumption. As delicious as seafood can be, unfortunately most of it is caught in an extremely unsustainable fashion. Imagine a net larger than an aeroplane dragging along the countryside. You may
only want to catch some sheep, but the net doesn’t discriminate and along the way will pick up cows, dogs, cats, people, cars, birds – whatever comes into it’s path. This is the same with nets underwater. They don’t just catch fish, but also Manta Rays, Turtles, Sharks…they also get caught on reefs and damage delicate corals. By the time the fisherman realises what’s in their net the animals are already dead.
4. Share your love. If you love the underwater world then share it with you friends. Get your family involved, explain to them and show them why this crazy, colourful, fascinating place is so important.
Here at Scuba Junkie Komodo we will be organising a clean up in the area, getting the community involved and talking to them about the importance of reducing plastic and cleaning up beaches.
Over in Labuan Bajo there is a huge clean up being organised with loads of dive centres and organisations getting involved!