Did you know that the ocean covers 70% of the planet and produces at least 50% of our oxygen?
Those are some impressive statistics! How about these:
- 90% of big fish populations have been depleted
- 50% of coral reefs have been destroyed.
World Oceans Day on 8 June encourages us to demonstrate our commitment to the vital cause of protecting and preserving our ocean. This year’s theme, Life and Livelihoods, reflects the essential benefits the ocean provides. The ocean is not only a source of oxygen and sustenance for humans and other organisms, but also supports our economy via marine-based industries and serves as a home to biodiverse marine life.
This year’s World Oceans Day is also significant because 2021 marks the beginning of the United Nations’ (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which endeavours to strengthen international efforts towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water.
How can I learn more?
There are plenty of resources available online if you’d like to learn more about World Oceans Day and its related causes, including:
- UN World Oceans Day website
- UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development website
- The Second World Ocean Assessment
For information on Australia’s progress towards SDG 14, check out the following:
- Take 3 for the Sea
- The Ocean, Our Future: An Ocean Decade Program
- Australian Marine Debris Initiative
- BLUE The Film
- Australian Government’s Reporting Platform on SDG 14
You can learn more about Griffith’s contribution by visiting the Life Below Water webpage and reading current research at Griffith Research Online, starting with the below articles:
- Rights of nature: Perspectives for global ocean stewardship
- Seascape ecology: Identifying research priorities for an emerging ocean sustainability science
- The Blue Economy and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals: Challenges and opportunities
- A responsible framework for managing wildlife watching tourism: The case of seal watching in Iceland
You can read more of Griffith’s Oceanography research at Griffith Research Online.