Our oceans are without a doubt incredible. They produce almost 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere, around 1 billion people rely on them for fish as their main protein source, more than 50% of the world’s population lives at the coast and our oceans provide 99% of the earth’s living space!
More people have been on the moon than to the deepest point of our oceans, the Mariana Trench, which reaches a depth of 10.991 m. We need the sea – for so many reasons. The great Sylvia Earle brought it to the point: “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by the sea.”
We as humans beings have to stop to unsustainably exploit our oceans’ resources and need to find a way to live with them. We continuously dump waste (out of sight, out of mind, right?) in its depths and created regions where small plastic fragments occur in a five times higher densities than plankton does! There needs to be a change of thinking and the use of our oceans must return to a sustainable way to ensure that generations sill to come will be able enjoy the same ecoservices and beauty that we (still) do.
We can all be part of a that change. There are small steps everyone can do – every day! Let’s use as little plastic products as possible (don’t take that straw or plastic cup), don’t consume endangered fish (or even better stop eating it), keep spreading your knowledge to family and friends and encourage them to do the same and – if possible – resign your daily Cappuccino and donate the money to oceanic conservation organisations and societies!
Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.