“Our oceans: Greening Our Future”
World Oceans Day has been celebrated on June 8th since its proposal at the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil. Although it has been unofficially celebrated since 1992, it was only in 2008 that the United Nations recognized the day dedicated to the honor, integrity, and importance of our oceans.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all governments and people around the world to the play their part in ensuring the protection of oceans for the future generations. He released a statement in which he outlined the severe challenges today’s oceans face, from depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change, deterioration of the marine environment, the decreasing labor conditions for seafarers, and what he referred to as an increasingly important issue of migration by sea.
Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, urges that we must change our position of acquiring knowledge of oceans for exploitive purposes, to a better understanding of how to manage and protect the important ecosystems our oceans are home to.
Things to consider after the observance of World Oceans Day:
1. Stay informed – think blue
Learn what the issues are, keep up to date with them, take time to think about them, and how they might affect you.
2. Feel blue
Enjoy the ocean. Walk barefoot on the beach. Take your children to the beach. Go for a swim. Learn to surf.
3. Eat blue
Only buy or order sustainable seafood, and urge your seafood restaurant to do the same. Always say no to shark fin soup.
4. Be a blue wise consumer
Think about how your purchases affect the oceans. Buy environmentally friendly products so you don’t pollute and poison the oceans with chemicals.
5. Respect our seas and their inhabitants
Practice responsible diving. Observe boating rules and watch out for marine life.
6. Don’t litter
Take home your garbage, pick up litter, don’t drop cigarette butts (they are toxic to fish and are not biodegradable) and don’t leave fishing lines behind, they strangle marine life.
7. Get involved and make a difference
Remember the story of the starfish – taking the time to put one starfish back in the sea makes a difference to that starfish. Plan your own save our seas campaigns.
8. Rethink the shark
Change your perceptions about sharks. There are over 400 species of sharks and they all need your help.
(Tips brought to you by Carnival Cruise Lines)