This article was originally posted on the Guardian


“Underneath its vast blue surface, the ocean’s value – to our planet and people alike – is almost incalculable. It puts food on the table and underpins trillions of dollars of economic activity worldwide. It produces 50 % of our oxygen, absorbs heat and re-distributes it around the world, and regulates the world’s weather systems. Quite simply, life could not exist without these enormous marine resources and the goods and services they provide, seemingly endlessly.

Furthermore, the ocean’s beauty, mystery and power has inspired us for centuries, drawing us to enjoy its shores, explore its wild vastness and discover its hidden treasures. But this global commons that inspires and feeds us, stabilises the climate and provides countless other benefits is showing signs of failing health. Such pressures as habitat destruction, pollution and overfishing have been rapidly building for the last hundred years. Today, almost 90% of global fish stocks are fully or over-exploited, leaving very little room for feeding a rapidly increasing population.

The impact of this excess harvesting and dumping is being exacerbated by climate change and unprecedented changes in ocean temperature and acidity. Last month the extent of sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic hit record lows every single day, continuing the worrying pattern that began in November. And a new UN study released a few days ago warns that, if current trends continue and we fail to tackle climate change, the world is on track to lose its tropical coral reefs by mid-century…”

Read on at: the Guardian.