With World Oceans Day around the corner on 8th June, here are a few thoughts on what we can all do right now to help our oceans and what the future may hold for our much-loved but vulnerable oceans.
Many believe that the coronavirus lockdown has given the oceans much-needed breathing space. Indeed, there have been stories where oceans, rivers and marine life have rebounded, such as the nests of the endangered leatherback turtles in Phuket, Thailand are at their highest levels for 20 years. Plus, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows that air pollution levels around the world have reduced.
However, sadly, climate emergencies are still there and healthy oceans remain of fundamental importance in securing our future on planet Earth.
It’s no wonder then that World Oceans Day is working to unite conservation action to grow the global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This critical need is called 30x30. By safeguarding at least 30% of our land and ocean through a network of highly-protected areas we can work towards a healthy home for all.
So what we can we do to help?
Every little action counts. We know most divers and snorkellers in our community do what they can year-round to help our seas. However, as it’s World Oceans Day here are some thoughts on how you could join others in making a difference, right now.
Sign the World Oceans Day petition
Scientists worldwide have determined that we need to protect at least 30% of our blue planet by 2030. By signing the petition you will help tell world leaders that you want action too!
Do a mini beach clean
It may be that we make trips to the beach before taking tentative steps diving or snorkelling. If that’s the case, why not do your own mini beach clean? Every piece of plastic pollution removed from the beach will help our seas. It is vital we do this in a socially responsible way, following government advice.
Create an environmental plan for your club
We think generally BSAC divers are pretty eco-friendly already with their community spirit of sharing lifts and other resources, litter picks and generally diving more locally. However, we can all most likely do more. Why not create an environmental plan or policy for your dive club? Or maybe you could come up with a new club-based eco project?
Spread the word – share
You can help become an advocate for positive change by simply sharing posts, from credible sources, on social media. There are lots of great charities and organisations to follow including the Marine Conservation Society, Shark Trust, Plastic Oceans and Greenpeace to name a few.
Use less plastic
Obvious, yes. But do we do it enough? Probably not! Look in your plastic recycling bin and to work out where most of it is coming from, then look for the changes needed.
Also, see our blog post “Save the Oceans from home” for tips on what you can do from home.
Looking to the future
The coronavirus lockdown may have given the world’s oceans a much-needed breathing space, but let’s hope we don’t go back to all the bad habits when it ends.
The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health.
Perhaps, with the right recovery following the pandemic, this could be the moment in history the world realises the undeniable link between human activity and the health of our ocean and the planet and creates meaningful change.
Photo: Kellie Churchman