World Oceans Day is an international day observed every year on June 8 to raise awareness of the role played by the oceans in human lives.
The ocean covers over 70% of the earth. It provided a source in form of food, oxygen, transportation, and various other needs. It is key to support humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth.
The world now produces more than 155 million tonnes of seafood each year it is growing steadily. Though fishes are harvested from aquaculture (fish farming), pressure on the wild fish population is still significant. With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in the true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.
The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it 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. Not to mention, 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.
The primary aim of the celebration and the observation of the day is to implement Sustainable Development Goals and foster public interest in protecting the ocean and the sustainable management of its resources.
The objective of World Oceans Day is to create awareness in human lives of the benefits it has enjoyed from the ocean. As the ocean provides a variety of life-saving medicinal compounds, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer drugs. So, now it is our turn to conserve the sea and marine resources for sustainable development. This day is the day for humanity to celebrate the ocean.
The concept of a World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.
To raise awareness about the role the United Nations and international law can play in the sustainable development and use of the oceans and their living and non-living resources, the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is actively coordinating different activities of the World Oceans Day.
The theme of World Oceans Day 2021
“The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” is the theme for World Oceans Day 2021, as well as a declaration of intentions that launches a decade of challenges to get the Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”, by 2030.
This year’s theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030. The Decade will strengthen international cooperation to develop scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.