Our planet Earth is made up of 3/4th part of the water and the rest is land. Out of this 3/4th part, around 97% of the planet is covered by Ocean. While there is such a large part of the planet which is covered by the oceans, our oceans are still in danger. United Nations selected a day for the celebration of awareness of Oceans. World Ocean’s Day is celebrated every year on June 8 to raise public awareness of the ocean and its resources in order to promote global ocean and resource sustainability.
According to the United Nations, the day intends to raise awareness about the impact of human activities on the oceans and to create a united movement for the species of the ocean.
The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, is home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. The ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Even though all its benefits, the ocean is now in need of support, wrote United Nations.
The theme for World Oceans Day 2022 is “Revitalization: collective action for the ocean”. This is a year framed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science and the celebration of the United Nations Ocean Conference, two years after being canceled because of the pandemic.
As written by United Nations, 90% of big fish populations are depleted, and 50% of coral reefs are destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. We need to work together to create a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life.
There are people working towards the betterment of marine life and keeping the ocean waves rich with their original flora and fauna. Some of the Indian activists are-
Elsie Gabriel, the Indian origin activist was honoured with the Ocean Quest Global Ambassador for India title. Gabriel, who runs the Powai-based Young Environmentalist Programme Trust, has actively helped in the awareness of the conservation of marine ecosystems.
Ocean Quest’s mission is to bring coastal communities a cost-effective and also easy-to-understand way to rehabilitate coral reefs, wherever they are declining, due to natural or anthropogenic threats.
Gabriel, a certified sea diver who studies eco-sensitive marine biodiversity, said: “I am happy to be given this honor, and it will further encourage me to continue with my work. Globally, the marine ecosystems, wetlands, and mangroves must be protected, or there can be a catastrophic backlash.”, wrote the Times of India when she won. She is also the co-Chairperson of Ocean School and National Coordinator of Oceans Climate Reality Project India.
Afroz Shah, the man famous for his beach clean-ups is an Indian environmental activist and lawyer from Mumbai. He is known for organizing the world’s largest beach clean-up project, which has grown into a movement that has inspired people around the world to clean up their surrounding environment.
He has won Indian Of the Year CNN News18, GQ – Men of the year 2019, and CNN hero- 2019. While these are big achievements, his best achievement is getting to understand people the importance of keeping the environment clean. He has been organizing cleanups all over the city of Mumbai- for beaches and river Mithi.
On World Environment Day, he organized a massive cleanup and massive run where around 3000 citizens joined to clean the beach. Marine litter and plastic pollution are one of the biggest threats to the health of the ocean and the planet. Citizens and others came together to do what had to be done to protect the ocean. Around 34,000 kg of plastic debris left the belly of the ocean.
Afroz has been working to clean the beaches for the last 7 years now and he and his volunteers have cleared around 80 million kgs of waste in the past years.
Lisbon Ferrao has been working to save the planet. He has been on a journey to a cleaner greener planet and has removed 580 tons of plastics to date. He also works on planting mangroves that are depleting in the city. He has worked and 5000 mangroves have been planted.
As the planet is in danger due to our human activities, it’s we who need to work on the problems and get it right. We only have one planet and our oceans really need attention before they deplete and are in extreme danger.