World Oceans Day is an internationally recognised day of celebration and appreciation of the vital role that the ocean has to play in our everyday lives. As well as creating awareness of how human activity affects the ocean, World Oceans Day promotes the various ways that members of the public can take action to conserve our marine resource.
What is World Oceans Day?
World Oceans Day is a day of global ocean celebration. The government of Canada proposed the concept of World Oceans Day in 1992, and after years of organising global petitions around the world, World Oceans Day was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2008. Now, on June 8th each year, members of the public honour and celebrate all the ways in which the ocean has contributed to life on Earth.
The purpose of World Oceans Day is to spread awareness of the significant role that the oceans have in our everyday life. Beyond this, World Oceans Day is also used to increase the conservation efforts and involvement of the general public in helping to protect this astonishing resource.
By celebrating World Oceans Day on an international scale, the public becomes more informed of how the actions of humans have an impact on the ocean, both positive and negative.
This year, the theme of World Oceans Day 2018 is “clean our ocean”, inspiring people to prevent plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. Plastic pollution is causing great harm to our marine resources, and as much as 40 percent of our ocean is affected by human pollution, creating havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism.
Interesting Facts About the World’s Oceans
- There are five significant oceans: the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. This massive body of water, which connects us all over the globe, covers an astonishing 70% of the Earth’s surface.
- The ocean provides most of the oxygen that we breathe. This oxygen comes from tiny phytoplankton plants that live near the water’s surface. Like all plants, they photosynthesize and produce oxygen as a byproduct.
- The ocean is a major source of food and medicine for the majority of living beings on Earth. More than three billion people depend on the natural resources and biodiversity of the ocean for their livelihood.
- The two oceans around South Africa provide economic opportunities, like shipping and tourism, that contribute to a third of the country’s GDP.
Things to Do on World Oceans Day
There are countless ways to celebrate and show gratitude for our vital marine resource. This World Oceans Day, spend time connecting with nature and appreciating all the beauty and wealth that the ocean has to offer.
- Embark on an incredible tour of Cape Town’s Cape Peninsula and enjoy incredible views of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans en route to and from the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
- Visit a thriving colony of African Jackass penguins, either at Boulders Beach in Simonstown or at Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay.
- Spend the day learning about our oceans diverse marine life at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront.
- Get up close and personal with one of the world’s most notorious predators in a Great White Shark cage diving experience.
- Enjoy a surf or stand up paddle session in one of Cape Town’s leading surf destinations either Muizenberg or Blouberg.
- Take to the skies and view the incredible sights of the Cape Peninsula from the air, either during a tandem paragliding experience or during an amazing helicopter ride.
- Visit the harbor town of Hout Bay and embark on a boat trip to Duiker Island to view a thriving colony of seals.
On World Oceans Day and throughout the year, you can also dedicate your time or make a small change for the benefit of our greater marine environment.
- Replace single-use plastic products, such as plastic straws, shopping packets, take away coffee cups, with more eco-friendly, reusable alternatives.
- Take part in a coastal beach clean-up event or organise a group of people to collect litter off of the beach.
- Donate to a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to the conservation of marine life.
- When consuming seafood, only purchase fish off the SASSI green list.
At present, Cape Town is experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history. The city is severely water-stressed, so it is vital to be water-wise when visiting Cape Town. Water is a critical part of our livelihood, so it is crucial that we do everything possible to save and conserve our water sources.
We hope that you enjoy celebrating World Oceans Day!