It’s that time of year again. People worldwide are scurrying about making last minute preparations for World Oceans Day on Sunday — trimming the coral and hanging out their scuba socks.
Father Neptune is checking his list of good children who have only eaten pole-caught sustainable fish all year, and hitching up his conch shell chariot’s team of eight tiny seahorses.
And we at Greenpeace are doing our part with ships in the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, activists on land pressuring seafood suppliers and retailers to go sustainable, and, in the sky, Google Earth giving people a birds’ eye view of the solution to saving our seas: a global network of marine reserves.
What’s that? You don’t celebrate World Oceans Day? Dear friends, the ocean gave us life. Not celebrating World Oceans Day is as bad as missing Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and Earth Day combined.
In fact, there aren’t many days dedicated to taking action to save one of our planet’s life support systems.
Millions of people depend on the oceans for their livelihood, their food, or both. It’s estimated that the oceans absorb 30-50 percent of the carbon dioxide our fossil-fueled civilization emits.
The oceans produce half of the oxygen we breathe. Quite literally, if the oceans die, our planet dies.
So how do we treat this living, breathing set of planetary lungs? We poison it with oil and toxic effluents. We use destructive fishing methods to scrape the sea-floor clean of centuries-old coral and other living things in search of a few premium species.
We kill whales in the name of fake science. We strip the fins from sharks. We send more and more boats out chasing fewer and fewer fish.
We build super-destructive fishing vessles with the capacity to remove thousands of tonnes in a single trip — more fish than entire countries can fish out in an entire year.
And we ignore the warnings of scientists when they recommend we cut back on fishing for bluefin, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna.
Not the sort of situation you can address like Secretary’s day, with a bunch of flowers and a card to say how much we appreciate all the oceans do for us and we’re sorry for all the aggro.
So, don your scuba and go and record a dive for earthdive. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!