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World Oceans Day 2024: Awaken New Depths

The oceans cover more than 70% of the planet’s surface and are fundamental to life on Earth. However, our relationship with them urgently needs to change, as the efforts made so far have only scratched the surface. It is time to “awaken new depths” and to promote widespread support for the oceans. In this regard, Almar Water Solutions joins the United Nations in reminding us of the crucial role the oceans play in our lives on World Oceans Day, June 8.

The ocean, which contains 97% of the planet’s water, is the great thermoregulator of temperature and the prime regulator of greenhouse gases. It provides more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe and is home to extraordinary biodiversity. Additionally, it is a crucial source of food and is key to our economy. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be around 40 million workers in the ocean-related sector.

The Oceans: The Planet’s Pantry

The ocean is more than twice the size of all the continents combined and remains largely unexplored. According to the article “The Future of Food from the Sea” in Nature Magazine, edible food from the sea could increase by 21 to 44 million tons by 2050, “an increase of 36% to 74% compared to current yields,” representing “12% to 25% of the estimated increase in all meat needed to feed 9.8 billion people by 2050,” according to calculations by 22 researchers. The profitability of exploring the ocean and its depths may be greater than exploring outer space.

However, despite their importance, the oceans face numerous threats:

  1. Plastic Pollution: Millions of tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year, affecting marine life and coastal ecosystems.
  2. Climate Change: Rising global temperatures are causing ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and melting polar ice caps.
  3. Overfishing: The excessive exploitation of marine resources is driving many species to the brink of extinction.
  4. Habitat Destruction: Coastal urbanization, pollution, and other human activities are degrading critical habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. Impressively, two-thirds of the ocean’s water (half of the planet in absolute terms) are international waters with no regulation for biodiversity protection. Less than 3% is protected, although the sustainable management of these areas is crucial for the future of humanity.

To protect our oceans and ensure their future health, actions are required at both local and global levels. To avoid depleting all that the oceans offer, it is vital to work together to establish a new balance through innovation and collaboration. The UN, through the development of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 14, is driving global efforts to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources. It is time to invest in renewable energy and green hydrogen; it is also essential to cut our CO2 emissions and solve plastic pollution.

Today, we have a new opportunity to reflect on the importance of the ocean and take concrete steps for its conservation. It is time to ensure that future generations can enjoy the countless benefits the oceans provide. There is no more essential task than caring for them and maintaining the delicate balance of their depths.

The ocean not only covers the planet but also sustains it.