The ocean is the blue heart of our planet. Without it our world wouldn’t work properly and we can truthfully say that the ocean has done everything for us, from creating life in the first instance through to maintaining it today.
Half our oxygen, all our fresh water, the climate, our weather systems, cooling, warming, most of our nutrients, even gravity need the ocean to function. Take out the ocean and the planet simply won’t work anymore.
It is so vast and hides its damage so well that we can easily forget just how much harm we have caused the ocean over the last 100 years and just how seriously we have compromised its ability to continue working for us.
The threats now facing it are as vast as the ocean itself. Impacts from climate change such as warming, acidification and the loss of oxygen from the water are so serious that scientists warn of mass extinctions that could in turn affect our terrestrial systems.
Some of these threats are hard to tackle and slow to reverse so marine conservationists agree that we need to protect the health of the ocean and its resilience to harm as much as we can, in order that it stands a chance against climate change. It’s like keeping fit, eating well and staying away from people with colds if you have a life-threatening illness.
Pollution into the ocean has many causes but the one we can all do something about is the pollution we produce ourselves, from the lotions and soaps we put on our bodies and the single-use plastic we drink from or carry our shopping in.