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The Gap Year Blog

World Oceans Day 2018 - What It's All About!

8 Jun 2018 10:30 AM
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Photo Credit: worldoceansday.org

Edited with Permission by Frontier

Every year on the 8th of June is World Oceans Day, a day not just for celebrating our oceans but also for working together to find a way to protect them. It was first celebrated unofficially in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development but since 2002 it has been an annual event celebrated across the globe.

This year, together with Earth Day and World Environment Day, the theme is plastic pollution. The ocean makes up 70% of our worlds surface, and is home to countless ecosystems many of which we are yet to discover. Despite this, the world’s oceans are bearing the brunt of the damage cause by plastic pollution. With much of the waste being dumped into the sea, micro-plastics are harming the tiniest of algae while six pack rings are entrapping fish, turtles and sea birds. More worryingly, it does not appear to be slowing down. A recent report showed that the amount of plastic in the ocean is set to treble over the next ten years. The so-called ‘rubbish island’ in the Pacific Ocean, which is already the size of a small country, is only set to continue growing. This shows that the effect that the continued overuse of plastic would be devastating for our oceans and marine life.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons | Dolovis

It was in the news only a few days ago, that a whale had washed up dead on a beach after ingesting over 400 pieces of plastic. Further back that a few days, a young Dutch inventor called Boyan Slat started an NGO to clean the oceans, stating his motivations as being that he went scuba diving in Greece on a family holiday and saw more plastic bags than fish.

The threat and issues are real and they’re ever increasing.

In response, huge amounts of organisations have sprung up worldwide that are combatting the wave of plastic pollution. Us here at Frontier, awareness days like today’s Oceans Day, The Ocean Cleanup and Ban the Balloon are just a few of these movements attempting to ensure that our oceans are sustainably looked after. The same way that we need water to survive, our planet needs its oceans.

World Oceans Day is among the bigger awareness days for the environment that you’ll find anywhere. Environment Day (celebrated this week also), World Wildlife Day and numerous others are dotted throughout the year bringing attention to our planets greatest needs. This year’s theme of plastic pollution isn’t the only threat to our oceans and shouldn’t be seen as just one problem to fix. These days aren’t about solving a problem and seeing it in the past, they’re about finding ways to undo our damage to the planet so that we still have a planet. That’s not a quick fix or an easily solution. It’s a fight that needs fighting.

For more information on World Oceans Day 2018, check out the website for more details.

If you want to contribute to the protection of our oceans, you can become a marine conservation volunteer with us at Frontier. Follow the link for more information on getting involved!

By Marnie Woodmeade - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!