World Oceans Day June 8th of every year should be one of the most important Days of the Year, yet most people do not recognize or know about this day. When you think about it, we can live without Valentines Day, Halloween and New Years Eve.. but we cannot live without an ocean. Think about it:
- 97% of our water is from the ocean.
- 50% + of the air we breathe comes from ocean plants.
- Oceans help to clean our air and deter climate change.
- The ocean is the largest eco-system in the world.
- Provides food not just for human. Ground fish is used to feed animals.
- Oceans provide a sixth of the animal protein people eat.
- $500 Billion is contributed to the worlds economy from the ocean. One in six jobs in the USA is attributed to the ocean.
- 60% of people live by the ocean.
- Provide medicines from cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and more.
Unfortunately we humans have abused one of our top resources.
- 90% of the big fish are gone. The average size of the remaining big fish is less than 50%. The average weight of a swordfish caught today is 90 lbs., down from 266 lbs. in 1960
- 2% of fish stocks are fully exploited
- 20% are moderately exploited
- 17% are overexploited
- 7% are depleted
- 1% is recovering from depletion
- A study of catch data published in 2006 in the journal Science grimly predicted that if fishing rates continue apace, all the world’s fisheries will have collapsed by the year 2048.
Illegal , Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU); It is estimated that 20% of the world’s catch and as much as 50% in some fisheries are from illegal fishing. The value of pirate fish products estimated at between $10-23.5 billion annually.
Shark Finning: Shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually. One pound of dried shark fin can retail for $300 or more. Many species of sharks will be gone within the next decade due to this. 98% of the shark is wasted.
Commercial Whaling- while illegal still occurs in Iceland, Japan and Norway.
Plastic’s: As been reported the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is one of five gyres that are accumulating plastic. Plastic has now crept up to the Arctic Circle. The ocean food chain eats the plastic, causing death. Because it is in the animals, it ends up in humans
- 4.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into our oceans yearly
- More plastic than fish will be in the ocean by 2050.
- Over 1 million marine animals are killed every year by plastic in the ocean
Dead Zones are low oxygen areas in the oceans and lakes. They are due to fertilizer run-off and nitrogen pollution primarily from human activities. That pollution depletes the oxygen required to support marine life in the bottoms of oceans and lakes. There are 405 reported Dead ZonesDead zones are doubling every ten years.
Coral Reefs; In a study in 2011 it said that the coral reefs could be going by 2050 (World Watch)
Mangroves– More than 35% of the worlds mangroves are gone.
Oil Spills – In 2015 there there two large oil spills totaling 6000 tons of crude oil spilt and six medium spills (7-700 tons of oil) While oil spills may be decreasing in total, the destruction they release into already seriously threatened habitats cannot be discounted.
Next time you take a plastic bag, litter, eat fish from non-sustainable fish sources and take a walk on the beach.. remember our Oceans are dying slowly due to human disregard and lack of appreciation.
Resources and images Available on Save Our Oceans
- World Ocean Day
- Protect Planet Ocean
- One World One Ocean
- Marine Conservation
- Save Our Seas
- NOAA Fisheries
- 10 Alarming Facts About Overfishing
- World Wild Life
- Stop Shark Finning
- Shark Water
- See Turtles
- International Society of Reef Studies
- Ocean Health Index