Why the Ocean?

Why the Ocean?

The ocean is Earth's life support

The ocean is Earth’s life support

  • 50 to 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. That’s more than every one of the world’s rainforests combined.
  • The ocean is the #1 source of protein for more than a billion people. Sea life provides one fifth of the average person’s animal protein intake.
  • The ocean regulates our climate, absorbs carbon dioxide, holds 97% of Earth’s water, and supports the greatest abundance of life on our planet.
  • More than 60% of the world’s population lives on or near the coast. The ocean provides a livelihood, recreation, beauty, wonder, and untapped scientific discovery, leading to new medications, foods, and advanced technologies.

Everyone, everywhere depends on a healthy sea.


But the ocean is in trouble

But the ocean is in trouble

  • 90% of the big fish are gone. Tuna, swordfish, halibut, cod, and flounder populations have been devastated by overfishing. Many of the fish caught today never even have the chance to reproduce.
  • The average size of the remaining big fish has been cut in half or less in the last 50 years. The average weight of a swordfish caught today is 90 lbs., down from 266 lbs. in 1960.
  • Discarded plastic bags and other trash have formed a toxic “plastic soup” that is gathering in five massive ocean gyres around the world. As the plastic breaks down, it is eaten by sea animals, birds, and fish, causing illness and death. It eventually enters our diets, too.
  • There are a reported 405 ocean “dead zones” — areas where there is little to no oxygen due to fertilizer run-off and nitrogen pollution. Dead zones are doubling every ten years.
  • Our oceans account for 71% of the planet, but less than 2% of our oceans are protected. We have protections in place for nearly 12% of all land (through areas like national parks).

What happens if we do nothing?

What happens if we do nothing?

  • Many of the most popular seafood populations could be wiped out within 40 years.
  • Unless we change our rate of consumption, we’re within a century — possibly even less — of a world where jellyfish are the only wild seafood option left.
  • The ocean is at a tipping point. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle says human actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years.

THE SOLUTION STARTS WITH YOU

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