THE OCEAN IS BEAUTIFUL AND GRAND. WHILE MANY TAKE GREAT PLEASURE AND APPRECIATION FOR THE OCEAN, MOST TAKE IT FOR GRANTED, AND WORSE YET, ABUSE IT.
An estimated 50 to 70% of our oxygen comes from the ocean. That's more than all the world's rainforests combined. The ocean controls our climate, soaks up co2, holds 97% of Earth's water, and supports the greatest abundance of life on our planet. So why is there such a distasteful neglect and recklessness in our use of the oceans?
There are a reported 405 ocean "dead zones"-- locations where there is little to no oxygen due to fertilizer run-off and nitrogen pollution. Dead zones are doubling every ten years.
Discarded plastics have formed a lethal "plastic soup" that is collecting in 5 huge ocean vortexes worldwide. As the plastic breaks down, it is consumed by sea animals, triggering health problem and death. It eventually enters our diets, too.
Nearly 90% of the big fish are gone. Overfishing has stripped the oceans population of tuna, swordfish, halibut, cod, and flounder. In the last 50 years, the typical size of the remaining big fish has been cut in half. The average weight of a swordfish caught today is 90 lbs., down from 266 pounds in 1960.
Within 40 years, with present fishing practices, many popular seafood types will likely be eliminated. Unless we change our rate of intake, we're within a century - potentially even less - of an ocean where jellyfish are the only wild seafood alternative left. This video does an excellent job of illustrating the problem, check it out!
Can we sit back and do nothing?
The ocean is in turmoil and need of care and rehabilitation.
The ocean is at a tipping point. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle states our actions over the next decade will identify the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years.
Our oceans make up 71% of the world, yet, less than 2% are secured. We have protection in place for nearly 12% of all land through natural preserves and national forests.
For many the ocean provides a livelihood, for others, personal satisfaction and meaning. It's full of resources, intrigue, and uncharted scientific discovery - leading to brand-new medications, foods, and innovations. Everybody everywhere depends upon a healthy sea. Together, and with conscious effort, we can change our actions in hope of making a difference.