Oceans and us

The anthropocene era has seen oceans become more polluted than any other time in Earth’s long history. The industrial revolution being one of the most significant contributing factor, as well as the rise of Nation states and multinational corporations, both having direct impacts on oceans and ocean resources globally, but more significantly in the last two decades. Population explosion has brought more people to coastal areas, resulting in more plastics in rivers, and more fish out of water.

For millennia, humans have continued to depend on oceans for food and livelihood. We have taken so much with little thought on how we can give back to the oceans that so sufficiently sustain life on our beautiful blue planet. Without oceans the Earth would be one harsh barren ball floating in space, without weather and rain. There would be no beaches to vacation at on sunny holidays, and perhaps little to no life on Earth. It would be a sad story of struggle and hardship for daily sustainance.

I personally cannot imagine daily meals without fish. I enjoy crabs and prawns, as well as other crustaceans that niche around our shores. Growing up was centered around the Niger-delta region, south of Nigeria. A region characterized by highly polluted waters, yet nature manages to thrive; showing us it’s resilience. Environmental issues in the Niger-delta highlight major global concerns including oil spills and plastic pollution. Both of which actively contribute to polluted oceans.

Global warming is also a threat to aqautic organism, as observed with the bleaching of coral reefs; which is habitat to a wide variety of species. Plastics floating in the ocean have been observed to choke fish than mistake them for food. Discarded nets and fishing gear continue to entangle turtles, birds and other animals that get their food from open water and coastal areas, thereby contributing to the loss of biodiversity in marine ecosystems.

Efforts to clean up oceans need more funding, as the endeavour is no easy task. Also, environmentalists need to be proactive in advancing means and methods of abating climate change and fighting plastic pollution. Our rivers need to be protected, as they serve as corridors to open waters, and as such are key in ensuring cleaner oceans. More importantly, people need to be educated on the importance of oceans and how we can conserve the precious resources that abound within the Earth’s waters.

Do you have a bright idea of how we can achieve cleaner oceans?

Green Promise International (GPI) will love to partner with you to make it happen.

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