World Oceans Day: History, Significance, Quotes & this year’s theme

World Oceans Day is marked every year on June 8 to create awareness about the multiple benefits that humanity receives from the oceans that feed us and regulate our climate.

World Oceans Day 2021 Theme

This year’s main focus will be on the life as well as livelihood that the ocean sustains. The theme for this year’s edition is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”.

History

The concept of celebrating this day was initially proposed in the year 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

In the year 2008, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced that, as of 2009, 8 June would be marked as “World Oceans Day.”

UN Chief Message on World Oceans Day 2021

Significance

Oceans serve as the base for much of the global economy, supporting sectors from international shipping to fisheries to tourism.

However, oceans are facing unprecedented threats due to human activity.

Facts & Figures

Every year, nearly 8 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the world’s oceans. Not only is climate change endangering coral reefs and other key ecosystems; but also overfishing poses a threat to the stability of fish stocks. On top of that, about 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is discharged without treatment.

Quotes

• “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” —Sylvia Earle

• “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.” —John F. Kennedy

• “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” —Jacques Cousteau

• “The Ocean is a mighty harmonist.” —William Wordsworth

• “One drop of water helps to swell the ocean, none are too small, too feeble, too poor to be of service. Think of this and act.” —Hannah More

As ocean is home to most of our planet’s biodiversity, we must strike a fine balance and build a connection that is advantageous for the ocean and the life inside it.