Micro-plastics, bycatch and overfishing present some of the biggest threats the Ocean is facing today. Whilst marine species are having to adapt to ever changing climates and subsequently damaged ecosystems, it is important not to get tangled up in the big wide net of negativity, but instead, analyse, understand and adjust our habits in order to help.
Unfortunately, it seems that on the whole, the Ocean is taken for granted and often seen as nothing more than an accessory to the perfect holiday photo.
If asked how many oceans there are in the world, would you know the answer is 5? If so, can you name them? With the Earths surface comprising of approximately 71%, this should surely be common knowledge right?
The five Oceans remain; Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Arctic and Southern.
Now, if you were asked why the Ocean is important, what would your answer be?
Yes, you would be correct if you answered that the Ocean provides the fish that we eat.
As would you be if your answer focused around how the Ocean is a means of transport and trade around the world, but these reasons are just the tip of the iceberg.
So let’s get specific! (not pacific)
First and foremost the Ocean provides over half the world’s oxygen, doing so through Phytoplankton, kelp and algal plankton that inhabit its waters.
These marine plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, in a similar fashion as earth grown plants. This process converts carbon dioxide and sunlight into sugars the organism uses for energy.
Subsequently, the Ocean stores around 20% of the worlds carbon dioxide, in turn, creating a more breathable environment for us humans.
Not only does the Ocean play a crucial role in global warming, it essentially regulates the world’s climate and weather patterns by transporting heat from the equator to the poles.
In just a brief analysis, it becomes clear that the Ocean is significant for the survival of planet earth and certainly deserving of the title ‘The lifeblood of the world’.
Diving deeper into the underwater ecosystem reveals more wonder.
Many medicinal products originate from coral reefs and animals of the sea, the Caribbean sea sponge ‘Tectitethya crypta’ is known to possess the very chemical properties used for a number of anti-viral and anti cancer medicines.
Minerals such as salt, copper and iron used for everyday purposes such as cooking and building are often extracted from the deep ocean seabed’s.
Not forgetting the infamous pearl, solely produced within the soft tissue of an oyster!
food s=chain shark finning/ overfishing/bycatch
plastic pollution in our diets.