Why is ocean health so important?
The health of our oceans is threatened by human activities, such as poor waste management, oil drilling, plastic pollution, and land development that ruins ocean ecosystems.
Ensuring the oceans are healthy is vital for the prosperity of the ecosystems and for human health.
Here's why the ocean is vital to environmental and human health.
- The air we breathe: The ocean produces over half of the world's oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.
- Climate regulation: The ocean covers over 70 percent of the Earth's surface. It regulates the climate and weather patterns by transporting heat from the equator to the poles.
- Transportation: Seventy-six percent of all U.S. trade involves some form of marine transportation.
- Recreation: As surfers, the ocean is our favourite playground. It is a place to play, meditate, have fun, be present, be active, and be in tune with nature.
- Economic benefits: Healthy oceans and coastlines are vital for the ocean economy. The study of surfonomics aims to document surfing’s economic contributions to local and regional economies. Through this process, researchers determined that surfing waves contribute approximately US$50 billion to global economic activity each year.
- Food: In 2013, seafood provided more than 3.1 billion people with at least 20 % of their intake of animal protein (FAO 2016b). Globally, more than 250 million people depend directly on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods.