They’re big, they’re beautiful, and we definitely take them for granted. Our oceans do so much for us, but judging by the way we’ve been treating them; it’s a pretty thankless job. 70% of our planet is covered by our oceans, but what percentage of our time do we spend protecting and celebrating them?
It’s a fact – the oceans are an essential part of our planet, and play into the health of the entire world’s eco-system. In celebration of World Oceans Day, we’re highlighting why it’s so important, not just to appreciate and celebrate the ocean, but to protect it for ourselves and future generations. Here’s why we do, and always will, need the oceans in our lives…
Because it’s not just water
There’s so much more to our oceans than a pretty photo op on the coast. Yes, there’s water – over 300 trillion cubic miles of it actually – but there’s also sea creatures, sea plants and minerals that reside on our oceans that are essential to our livelihoods. If the water is compromised, it’s affecting everything in it as well.
Because we’ve gotta eat
Protein is essential, and hundreds of millions of people rely on the oceans’ inhabitants as the primary protein source in their diets. Fish, seaweed, mollusks, reptiles and crustaceans make up so much of our everyday meals across the globe, so it’s imperative that these sources have a healthy home.
Marine resources are also a main food source for livestock such as pigs and chickens, whilst kelp and algae are ingredients in many foods we eat every day.
Because breathing isn’t optional
Take a deep breath. Feel all of that glorious oxygen coming in, and the carbon dioxide flowing out? You can thank our oceans for ensuring that happens. The fact is, about half of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced in the ocean, and the ocean is a major source of carbon dioxide absorption as well. Why are trees getting all of the O2 appreciation?
Because the products of the future count on it
Sea plants in particular are super-plants; they are used in so many common products that we use every day, and this list is only expanding with research. Algae and kelp in particular are packed with vitamins and nutrients and are essential additions to many products.
Because it’s a source of livelihood for many
Tourism, fishing, boating, transportation and recreation – all of these are industries that rely on our oceans, and make up over 20 trillion dollars of global goods and services. Many countries rely on ocean tourism or fishing as their main employment sectors, and who knows what would happen without them.
Because we still need medical attention
The medical uses and implications for ocean plants and creatures are one of the most exciting and promising facets of modern medicine. Everything from coral and algae to crabs are now being used to treat diseases and advance our medical technology and knowledge, and the more we discover under the water the more ground-breaking uses we find for marine life in medicine.
Because they’re pretty much Mother Nature
If you’re gonna blame or thank anyone/ anything for your weather, the oceans should be it. The water stores so much of the sun’s heat, which is then distributed around the world with ocean currents to regulate the climate. The oceans’ heated water also evaporates into the atmosphere, which is how clouds and rain are formed. The marine habitats of the oceans such as reefs and islands also help to protect our coasts from storms as well.
Despite all of these amazing things the oceans do for us, we continue to pollute, abuse, damage and neglect them and their inhabitants through our actions and, let’s be honest, our ignorance. Unless we’re willing to give up all of the amazing benefits listed above, we need to start making the effort for every day to become World Oceans Day.
For more information, check out these great sources of ocean info: