A vibrant, painted mural in central Montevideo, Uruguay, is attracting attention from the public and media alike, about the devastation from human activities on the oceans – from overfishing and plastics pollution, to deep sea mining and climate change. Gaia is partnering with the OCEANOSANOS (Healthy Oceans) campaign to bring the message home, on World Oceans Day.
The health of the planet depends on the health of the oceans. Without them, it would be impossible for life on Earth. They cover 72% of the surface of the planet, they are the lungs of the world, regulate the climate, mitigate climatic catastrophes and give us food and medicines. As the famous oceanic explorer Jacques Cousteau warned, “We have to save the oceans if we want to save humanity.”
World Oceans Day, celebrated on 8th June, invites a day of reflection. In Uruguay, South America, it is being marked by OCEANOSANOS (Healthy Oceans). Using street art, radio and media interviews, they are raise awareness and providing information to citizens about the importance of marine biodiversity and sustainable fisheries.
The role of healthy oceans for life on our Planet have, for too long, been overlooked. Half of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean; they are regulators of the planetary climate; they contain the greatest diversity of species on the planet; they are an important source of food and serve as the main livelihood to a large part of humanity; they provide remarkable options for recreation; and they are an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
But beyond all these ‘reasons’ to protect them, we should remember that the oceans are the result of millions of years of evolution. We are part of them – when breathing, when drinking rainwater that was generated by evaporation of the sea water. If we only started to feel part of the planet, we would have more awareness of our actions and their effect on the environment.
One of the key messages being shared by OCEANOSANOS is that today, 8th June, World Oceans Day, is a good time to begin to treat ourselves better and treat the oceans better.
- Every year millions of tons of plastics are thrown into the sea. Avoid the use of disposable materials, of plastic bags, containers or balloons, and the use of micro plastics and fossil fuels.
- When buying fish or seafood, take care to choose local species, to know its origin and form of capture.
- Say “no” to agro toxics and “yes” to sustainable agriculture and, if you can, grow your own vegetables and fruits.
- Connect with the sea: visit it, contemplate it, enjoy it.
OCEANOSANOS is coordinated by small team of experts committed to the conservation of the oceans – led by Milko Schvartzman, OCEANOSANOS Coordinator, and Rodrigo García, Director of Organisation for Cetacean Conservation (OCC-Uruguay).
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