Historically oceans have been regarded as an inexhaustible supply of food, a significant shipping route and a convenient dumping ground, and being too vast to be affected by anything we do. In recent decades there is growing evidence that human activities – overfishing, extensive and increasing ocean pollution from the air and land are pushing oceans and marine ecosystems to their limits and there is a real risks of irreversible damage that will threaten not just marine habitats and species – many of which have only recently been discovered – but also human health and security.
Oceans facts are changing daily due to rampant pollution, overfishing, coastal development and climate change happening across the world. Ocean conservation is essential across the world and the scientific and research community, Governments and policy makers and civil society and community leaders need to intensify awareness and mobilize actions to protect and make Oceans healthier.
IN REALITY THERE IS ONLY ONE OCEAN BUT IS NOW DEMARCATED AS MORE THAN 50 SEAS WITHIN 5 MAJOR OCEANS
1. There are more than 150 Exclusive Economic Zones where individual coastal nations exercise sovereignty up to 200 nautical miles from their shores. Some 5000 marine protected areas, scattered across the world and covering less then 2% of world oceans, have been designated as ocean sanctuaries, marine parks and no fishing-zones to create environments where marine life can thrive, free of human interference. Menjangan Island and Nusa Penida are newer Marine Protected Areas around Bali, where we may take you diving. Oceans are extensively threaten by human activities and time for action is now if we are to reverse the damage being inflicted on oceans and marine ecosystems
2. Ocean coral reefs cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, yet they support an estimated 25 percent of all marine life. Coral reef plants and marine life are important sources of new medicines, nutritional supplements, pesticides, cosmetics, as well as many commercial products. Coral reef structures buffer shorelines against waves, storms, and floods, which help prevent loss of life, property damage and erosion and thus safeguard coastal communities.
3.Oceans are more and more shipping highways with rampant oil spills, ship groundings, anchor damage, and the dumping of rubbish, ballast water, and oily waste, all of which endanger marine life and ecosystem habitats.
4. Oceans as mining reserves of oil, gas, and minerals deep beneath the seafloor is resulting in a scramble for resource prospecting and drilling, often with no consideration of sensitive marine habitats and species.
5. Oceans have become the depository of atmospheric pollutants and dumping ground of land and water runoff wastes including untreated sewage, garbage, fertilizers, pesticides and industrial chemicals. In a number of locations this has resulted in poisoning marine life and decimating entire marine environments.
6. Global warming and climate change is no doubt impacting on oceans with, for example vast destruction of plankton and corals, which are the primary producers for nearly all-marine life. We need to invest in scientific research to develop policy actions to deal with this emerging climate-related phenomena as well as reduce other pressures on already stressed and threatened marine habitats.
7. Ocean overfishing is depleting stocks of fish beyond their ability to recover, disrupting the ecosystem and threatening a valuable source of food and livelihood for over a billion people in the world. Some three-quarters of the world’s fisheries are already fully exploited and often overfished. Also billions of unwanted fish and other marine species are caught and die needlessly each year. Such unsustainable fishing poses the largest threat to ocean life and marine ecosystems.
8. Ocean Predator loss releases prey populations from both the pressure and risk of predation. Their removal can cause a potentially irreversible cascade of complex knock-on effects, destabilizing and degrading marine ecosystems.
9. Ocean habitat loss physically limits the suitable living space available to marine life. Coastal development, trawling, and aquaculture all are contributing to degradation of marine habitats and ecosystems.