Without healthy oceans, we cannot survive. From the air we breathe to the food we eat, and the climate we live in, all species of life depend on our deep blue seas. Today, the health condition in which they are in is more important than ever. Healthy oceans absorb carbon from the atmosphere and help reduce the impact of climate change. Ten percent of the world's population depends on fisheries for their livelihoods, and 4.3 billion people are reliant on fish for 15 percent of their animal protein intake. These small scale fisheries also provide a source of income for hundreds of millions of people, many of the world's poorer countries and communities rely on the oceans for survival.
Every breath we take is recycled from the sea. More than half of our planet's oxygen is produced by tiny ocean-dwelling organisms called phytoplankton, that absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. The diversity and productivity of our world's oceans is vital for humankind.
The ocean regulates climate to make our planet habitable. Powerful ocean currents transport warm water and rain from the equator to the poles, and sends cooler water from the poles back to tropical areas. This cycling of water currents is also known as the Coriolis Effect.
The oceans cover up 75% of the mass on Earth, hence why we are known as the "Blue Planet." Our blue waterways are home to an estimated two billion species. Life began in the oceans. From the largest animal that has ever lived to the tiniest bacteria, marine habitats contain such diversity of life on Earth.
However, our oceans are in crisis. Due to global warming, climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution, the health of our oceans is declining at an exponential rate that has catastrophic future consequences for all living things on Earth. We have already lost our coral reefs, accelerated the extinction rate for all marine species, and dumped so much plastic into the ocean, animals are suffering from our actions, and great garbage patches are building themselves up.
Our generation and future generations will be facing these consequences. Do your part, and keep our oceans clean and healthy. Live more sustainably, reduce your carbon footprint, educate yourselves and VOTE for politicians and city representatives who are in support of maintaining a healthy environment. The future is literally in our hands, make good use of them.