- World Oceans Day is held every year on 8th June to raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining a healthy planet.
- A global celebration, it looks to bring people and organisations together across the globe in a series of events highlighting how we can all help protect and conserve the oceans.
- Oceans play a major role in everyday life of people globally.
- Oceans are the lungs of our planet and an important part of the biosphere.
- The World Oceans Day gives governments across the world an opportunity to inform people about the impact of economic activities and human actions on the ocean.
History of World Oceans Day 2021
- The Idea of World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
- This idea emerged to celebrate the world’s shared ocean and humans' personal connection to the sea.
- This raised awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.
- Currently, the UN division for ocean affairs and the law of the sea is actively coordinating different activities for World Oceans Day.
Significance of World Oceans Day 2021
- As the ocean is the home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, it provides a main source of protein for more than billions of people around the world.
- The ocean is key to our economy, with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
- With the extinction of 90% of big fish populations and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are exploiting the ocean more than it can be replenished.
The Theme of World Oceans Day 2021
- This year's prime focus will be on the life and livelihood that the ocean sustains. The theme for World Oceans Day 2021 is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”.
Some Interesting Facts on Oceans
- Over three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihood.
- The ocean contains 50-80 per cent of all life on Earth.
- Only one per cent of the ocean is legally protected.
- Harmful algae blooms are increasing; they can cause massive fish kills and contaminate seafood with toxins.
- Oceans help in reducing climate change by storing large amounts of carbon dioxide. But increasing levels of dissolved carbon are making the seawater more acidic.
- About 70 per cent of the oxygen we breathe is produced by the oceans.
- The sea is home to the world's largest living structure - the Great Barrier Reef. It is 2,600 km long and can seen from the Moon.
- We have only explored about five per cent of the world's oceans and there are a lot more that needs to be discovered.
- According to World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), there are currently at least 236,878 named marine species.
- 90 per cent of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans.
Some Important Ocean Development Programmes of India
1) Polymetallic Nodules Programme
- Polymetallic nodules contain magnesium, copper, nickel, cobalt, molybdenum, iron, lead, cadmium, vanadium.
- India has 75000 sq. km in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for harnessing these nodules lying on the seabed at 4000 m to 6000 m water depth.
2) Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM)
- It is satellite based studies plan to amend shoreline management with various programmes scheduled for tenth five year plan period, which includes R&D activities along with Marine Eco-toxicology
3) Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMAPS)
- This programme has been in operation at 82 locations for collection and analysis of 25 parameters relating to physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water and sediments.
- Based on the data collected through this project, the areas of concern have been identified and steps are being taken to prevent and control the causes of pollution by supplying the information to the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs).
4) Acoustic Tide Gauge (ATG)
- Tide gauges have practical application in the shipping and fishing industries where low or high tide can hinder access to shallow bays or location with bridges. With ATG, we can measure tides and quantify the size of Tsunamis. The measurements make it possible to derive the mean sea level.
5) Indian Antarctic Research Programme (IARP)
- Indian Antarctic Research Programme began in December, 1981, when the first Indian expedition was flagged off from Goa. Annual Antarctic expeditions are being sent under the aegis of the department of ocean development.
- India set up its first station Dakshin Gangotri. Maitri, the second one was established in 1988-89. India is in the process of setting up a third station in the Larsemann hill area (named PARAM). By virtue of its scientific activities in Antarctica, India was admitted as a Consultative Member of the Antarctic Treaty.
6) Ocean Observation and Information Services (OOIS)
- The Government of India has started an integrated programme for recognising the importance of information and knowledge of the sea on OOIS.
- It is comprises with four major units: Ocean Observing System, Ocean Information Services, Ocean Modelling and Dynamics (INDOMOD), and Satellite Coastal Oceanographic Research (SATCORE).
Previous Year Themes of World Ocean Day
2018: "Clean our Ocean!"
2019: "Gender and Oceans"
2020: "Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean"
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