Almost 70% of the earth is covered with the ocean giving life to marine species and ecosystem while maintaining the life cycle on the ‘blue planet’. You will be astonished to know that the ocean produces around 50% of the earth’s oxygen. To recognize all this, each year 8th June is celebrated as the “World Oceans Day” to create awareness among the public about the benefits provided by the ocean. In the year 2008, this day was officially recognized by the United Nations (UN) with a focus to conserve the coral reefs.
The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’
Due to over-exploitation of the resources by humans, marine life in the ocean is at the receiving end. So, it’s necessary to understand the seriousness of the issue and conserve our natural resources by contributing our bit.
Here are some of the ways by which we can help contribute to protecting and conserving our oceans.
1. Say ‘No’ to Plastic
Plastic is one of the major reasons behind ocean pollution. The plastic thrown in oceans takes the form of lumps and ocean debris that are harmful to marine life and pollute the water. So, prefer the alternatives of single-use plastic in the form of reusable bags, reusable water bottles and recycle containers.
2. Volunteer in a Beach Cleaning Drive
If you are going to the beach, make sure that you throw your litter in the dustbin, and not on the beach. Also, you can take care of the beaches by participating in clean drives that will help in conserving the ocean.
3. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood Choices
Prefer Sustainable Seafood:
Eating sustainable seafood is key to the health of the ocean. Over fishing has decimated various species and ecosystems. So, choosing seafood that is sustainably fished ensures there’s less damage to the ecosystem.
Follow catch and release practices and keep more fish alive.
4. Say ‘No’ to Ocean-Harming Products
Some products are directly or indirectly harmful for marine life, especially endangered species, so avoid their use. The products could be in the form of coral jewellery, sea turtle shell or other marine animal shells, so avoid buying these products.
5. Keep a Check on Your Carbon Footprint
Climate change has a gross impact on the ocean and marine life. To maintain the ecological balance, it’s important to reduce pollution and conserve resources. We can do this by reducing the carbon footprint on an individual level by following few steps:
- Switch to public transport/ bicycle
- Save electricity whenever possible
- Save and conserve water
- Switch to electricity saving gadgets
- Choose natural fiber clothes
6. Avoid Disposal of Chemical Wastage
Avoid the disposal of chemical wastage to rivers as it ends up in the oceans, impacting the marine species and ecosystem. So, dispose chemical waste responsibly.
7. Opt for Fresh Food Instead of Packed/Frozen Food
Packed/ Frozen food comes in plastic packaging, which is the biggest contributor to plastic pollution in the oceans. So, prefer fresh seasonal food in the form of fruits, vegetables that are healthy and sustainable. This will also avoid chemicals that are used in plastic packaging.
8. Minimize the Use of Fertilizers
Fertilizers that are used in agricultural fields or gardens, if used excessively may end up in the ocean. So, minimize the use of chemical fertilizers and promote more organic farming.
9. Be a Responsible Beach Traveller
Along with appreciating the coastal beauty, it’s also important to respect the natural space of marine animals. Healthy habitat and survival go hand in hand. So, before travelling to a coastal area, research the local sustainable food choices or Eco-tourism activities that don’t affect the sea life of marine animals.
10. Educate Yourself and Share Your Knowledge With Others
Educate yourself, then share that knowledge with others so that other people can also contribute to protecting the ocean and marine life. Because sometimes, all we need is awareness to help protect our surroundings and natural resources.