World Oceans Day, designated by the UN General Assembly in 2008 and started on June 6, 2009. (A/RES/63/111) is observed to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in our lives and the importance of protecting our oceans. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.
"We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean."
Fact and Figures from the UN WEbsite:
Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by volume.
Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 per cent of global GDP.
Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.
Oceans absorb about 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 2.6 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein.
Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people.
Subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore global fisheries and related jobs, causing ocean fisheries to generate US$ 50 billion less per year than they could.
As much as 40 per cent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.