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Saving our oceans

Saving our oceans
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Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
8th June is marked as World Ocean day. The ocean covers more than 70% of Earth’s surface, and being the largest ecosystem on our planet, it functions as a life support system for all its inhabitants.
The idea for a World Ocean Day was proposed for the first time by Canada at the Earth Summit that took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The 2022 theme for the World Ocean Day is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean: “Shedding light on the communities, ideas, and solutions that are working together to protect and revitalize the ocean and everything it sustains.”
The ocean contains 94% of the entire planet’s wildlife. Nowadays, however, it is polluted and marine debris can harm animals causing suffocation, entanglement, laceration, infections and internal injuries. Furthermore, floating plastic and other items help transport invasive species, which leads to threats for marine ecosystems.
Everything in this world we use comes from the ocean in some way. The air we breathe, the water we drink, even the products we use day to day, would not be possible without the ocean. That’s why the issue of ocean pollution is so important and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
About 50-80 percent of all life on earth is estimated to live in the oceans. Not many people even consider how important the ocean is to the environment. People worry about cutting down trees in the forest because of how it affects the animal’s habitat, but what about the animals in the ocean?
They need help with keeping their habitat safe and clean as well.About 2/3 of the earth’s surface is covered with water of oceans and sea. They are life sources for many plants and animals and playing a crucial role in the chemical and biological balance of life on the planet. But increasing pollution has not left them free from pollutants.
According to a rough estimate, about 12000 tonnes of lead, 17000 tonnes of copper, 70,000 tonnes of zinc, 8000 tonnes of arsenic, 900 tonnes of barium, 70000 tonnes of manganese, 6000 tonnes of chromium, 3800 tonnes of antimony, 17000 tonnes of iron, 7000 tonnes of mercury and 4600 tonnes of tin are discharged per year into the sea without any dilution.
Human activity threatens the world’s ocean. Often illegal international fishing practices are decimating fisheries. A garbage patch twice the size of Texas floats in the Pacific Ocean, evidence of the trash we cast into our waterways. Rising carbon dioxide levels from emissions increase ocean acidity, endangering coral reefs and other marine life.Reduce your use of plastic items, especially disposable ones. You can switch from single-use plastic bags to reusable ones, or stop using disposable plastic cups, plates; cutlery and bottles (bring your own!). Also, avoid useless plastic wrappings and buy food and cleaning products in bulk.Due to agricultural wastes run off and waste water; low oxygen dead zones are developed in coastal ocean waters.
What we need is to conserve our wonderful marine resources for future generations. Let us recognizethat protecting our ocean is not a luxury. It is a necessity that contributes to our economy, our climate, and our way of life.
(The author is a columnist and hails from Jodhpur Tekra in Ahmedabad)


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