Editor’s Note: The following is a part of Dr. Dave Randle’s editorial on Huffington Post yesterday, June 7, 2013 on how “Together we have the power to protect the oceans.” Highlighted sections by Neptune 911.
According to leading scientists, the ocean faces many global challenges that threaten marine extinction including ocean acidification, climate change, ocean pollution, and unsustainable fishing practices.
Ocean acidification is the direct result of increased carbon emissions making the oceans more acidic. This change in chemistry will bring about changes that have not been experienced for 300 millions years. Acidic oceans dissolve sea life that contains hard exoskeletons e.g., oysters and lobsters. Climate change threatens the coral reefs from bleaching, impacts on sea life, and changes in ocean circulation.
Eighty-five percent of ocean pollution is land based including oil spills, animal wastes, fertilizers that contribute to dead zones, and plastics. Because of their slow decomposition, plastics account for 90% of pollution in the oceans.
The oceans are being fished at a rate of over 40% more than the oceans can sustain. Promoting sustainable seafood choices is becoming more necessary each day.
Now that I have outlined some of the serious challenges to the ocean, I ask you to pause and take a deep breath. See if you can imagine a world where you could make a difference. Imagine that you could help the world better understand the oceans, reduce ocean pollution, restore ecosystems, repair damaged marine environments and replenish the oceans’ resources.
Can you imagine rebuilding the world’s oceans and seas, valuable resources upon which so much of our existence depends? Can you imagine taking on challenges such as climate change impacts, ocean acidification, and the bleaching of coral reefs?
As you continue to imagine, consider as one of our most precious assets, the ocean is indispensable to life itself. It is the largest habitat for living things in our solar system and sustains our lives with over 50 percent of the earth’s oxygen. “Without our oceans, we wouldn’t be able to breathe; we wouldn’t be able to eat; we wouldn’t be able to live.'”