“The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”

By Sea The Home-An organization founded by highschool students with the aim of promoting and spreading awareness on climate change and pollution and their impact on the ocean and the planet. This article is written for Mangtre by Sea The Home as part of their awareness campaign.



June 8th was World Oceans Day. This year’s theme is “The Oceans: Life and Livelihoods.”

Life

Source: iStock Photo

1. Overview of Marine life

Marine life includes marine animals, marine plants, microorganisms, viruses, etc. They are divided into vertebrates and invertebrates. Whales and sharks are examples of vertebrates, while invertebrates include all kinds of shellfish and snails. Though marine organisms are almost everywhere in the oceans, the distribution patterns vary depending on the different physiological and biochemical characteristics in various environments. Therefore, these organisms are divided into plankton, swimming organisms, and benthic organisms.

2. What are threatening marine lives?

·Ocean acidification

·Climate change

·Overfishing

·Poaching and illegal trade

·Catching and entangling

·Marine garbage and pollution

·Habitat loss and coastal development

·Invasive species

·Shipping traffic and ocean noise


Source: Environmental Defense Fund


Livelihoods

According to UNCTAD, the great oceans can sustain livelihoods for about 3 billion people, and the seafood products can create a value of about $150 billion per year. Thus, from the food industry to tourism, we are highly dependent on our mother oceans.


In 2020, Covid-19 seemed to pause the entire world’s regular operation. Though nobody could deny the destructive power it had and continues to have now on our society, the crisis indeed gave a precious opportunity to rest for our ocean. According to UNCTAD, seafood exports decreased by about a third; in the first quarter of 2020, the international tourism rate declined by 22%. However, as soon as the factories reopened and tourism was restored, the sea level rose again.


According to Satellite sea level observations, the sea level had risen about 98mm from 1993 to 2021, and human activities may have increased the carbon dioxide levels by 134 parts per million in the last 150 years.


We are using and depriving the ocean of resources.We should also know that oceans are incredibly crucial to the sustainable development of the planet. Oceans contain the phytoplankton that is responsible for about 50% of the oxygen on the Earth. Moreover, an OECD report predicts that by 2030, 40 million people will be employed in ocean-based careers. Therefore, we really should start taking action to reverse the global warming situation before it becomes irreversible.


What Can We Do?


· Live a low-carbon life. Low-carbon lifestyles can help to relieve global warming and slow the rate of ocean acidification.

· Protect beaches. Do not leave rubbish on the beaches during a trip; do not touch coral reefs and other marine animals while diving; do not feed or capture marine lives without authorization; involve more social programs and activities that help clean up the beaches.

· Reduce plastic wastes. Replacing plastic bags with reusable shopping bags; lessening the frequency of shopping or ordering food online; avoiding producing wastes by using our own forks and water bottles.


Source: Microactivist Foundation


In English:

Human Rights At Sea:

https://www.humanrightsatsea.org/2021/03/17/un-world-ocean-day-the-ocean-%E2%80%A8life-livelihoods/

UNCTAD:

https://unctad.org/news/covid-19-offers-opportunity-save-our-ocean

Nasa Global Climate Change:

https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

World Economic Forum:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/here-are-5-reasons-why-the-ocean-is-so-important/

In Chinese:

Baidu:

https: //baike.baidu.com/item/海洋生物/4745479?fr=aladdin

https: //baike.baidu.com/item/海洋生物的分类/14730062?fr=aladdin

Zhihu:

https: //zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/37790539

https: //zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/37889767

https: //www.zhihu.com/question/280033970/answer/417052184


Cover Photo Credit: The Ocean Foundation