World Ocean Day – Life And Livelihoods
“The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.”- Jacques Yves Cousteau
Today, as we observe World Oceans Day, let us explore, what prompted Cousteau to make such a statement!!
Did you know that Ocean is responsible for 70 % of Oxygen on Earth? It is said that, from every ten breaths you take, seven come from the Ocean. Phytoplankton, a microscopic plant got it covered for Ocean. It absorbs Carbon dioxide and releases Oxygen.
The ocean regulates the Earth's climate. It absorbs heat and moves warm water from the equator to the poles, as well as cold water from the poles to the tropics. Without these currents, certain locations' weather would be harsh, and fewer locations would be livable. It governs rain and droughts. Almost all rain that falls on land originates from the sea, which holds 97 percent of our planet's water. The ocean absorbs CO2 to maintain the carbon cycle, and hence global temperatures, in balance. It is analogous to our global climate control system.
More than a billion people rely on the ocean as their primary source of protein. Fish contributes to around 15.7 percent of all animal protein ingested worldwide. Algae and marine plants have long been used for cooking by humans. With the world population growing at a rate of 1.5 million people each week, we are becoming increasingly dependant on the ocean for survival, and we need an alternative and nutritious food sources.
The water is also home to a plethora of species. While there are estimates of the number of species that dwell in the water, no one knows with perfect certainty. According to the National Institutes of Health of the United States National Library of Medicine, “91 percent of species in the ocean still await description.” This is owing, in part, to the expanse of the seas, which span over 70% of the planet's surface and may reach depths of 11,000 meters. The number of yet-to-be-discovered water species might number in the millions. All of the organisms that reside in the ocean play an important function in the ecosystem's trophic chain.
The ocean has been warming and losing oxygen as a result of climate change, and its pH has been dropping. Many marine organisms have already adapted their geographic and depth ranges in response to variations in water temperature. However, not all species may be able to relocate to avoid temperature stress, and global warming has already been linked to mass extinctions in the Mediterranean. With more than 60% of the world's population living along the coast, we all rely on a healthy sea just as much as these magnificent creatures.
In 2016, it is projected that 59.6 million people worked in fisheries and aquaculture throughout the world. According to an OECD projection, ocean-based sectors would employ more than 40 million people worldwide by 2030. The majority of those employements are predicted to be in the fishing industry, followed by tourism. The sea carries 90 percent of the world's trade. Fishers, lifeguards, surf instructors, harbors, diving schools, marine-based tour operators, water sports firms, vacation lodgings, and, of course, ocean nomads all find work in the ocean!
The ocean has therapeutic properties. Many medicinal products are derived from the sea, including chemicals that aid in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease. According to research, so-called blue spaces can significantly relieve psychological stress and boost mood.
The ocean is our happy zone! It's where we swim, surf, sail, dive, and relax. Family vacations and Sundays are frequently spent at the beach. It also serves as a transportation hub for sailors, fishermen, and islanders. It transports us to other regions and connects us to nature and one another. We all share a love of the water and a strong wish to maintain our playground clean and safe for all time. Waterways are critical to our health, both now and in the future.
A healthy ocean keeps us all healthy on the planet. Because of the oceans, we are alive today. Now it is up to us to keep the ocean alive. The decisions we make now will influence our destiny and the future of our children. We have a responsibility to care for the ocean in the same way that it cares for us.