World Oceans Day

Oceans are the major source of support of life on earth. They act as lungs to planet as they provide most of the oxygen we breathe. They are also primary absorbers of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide. Therefore human activity on land is instantly affecting the oceans and the life that prospers within. The object of World Oceans Day, celebrated globally under the ambit of UN, is to educate the world community regarding the impact of human actions on the oceans and to find ways and means for their lasting use and the marine resources we draw from them.
Oceans are an origin of 40 percent of fresh water available across the world, contribute about 75 percent oxygen in the air and serve as a root of human food. However, these vast water bodies are threatened by human actions and pollution. World Oceans Day is celebrated around the world on June 8 every year to highlight the importance oceans, and to encourage awareness especially for supportable use of oceans and marine resources. Awareness of the detrimental effects of marine pollution was raised through the show of banners in many public and residential areas. A beach cleaning walk by Pakistan Navy personnel involving local population was also scheduled to be held after Ramadan. The theme selected for this year’s World Oceans Day was ‘Preventing plastic pollution’ and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. Pakistan Navy re-affirmed its obligation for the sustainable use of oceans while trying to protect the oceans from dangers of marine pollution. The chief of the naval staff in his message for the day also promised that Pakistan Navy would continue its endeavor to safeguard, maintain and conserve the oceans for future generations. To celebrate importance of the World Oceans Day, Pakistan Navy is playing a leading role in encouraging safe and sustainable use of ocean resources. Some of the major Pakistan Navy leadership include; beach cleaning, construction of harbour debris collection barges, increased Mangroves plantation, prohibiting use of damaging fishing nets, addressing oil pollution at sea and coordination with industrial community to lessen waste dumping into the sea. Another central area being pursued by Pakistan Navy is the promotion of formal Maritime Education, especially for the women. Bahria University, under Pakistan Navy auspices have started Graduate and Masters programmes for both male as well as female students. On this Day, Pakistan re-affirm its commitment and promise for preserving sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, at the same time making deliberate efforts to empower women in various economic activities related to the oceans..
The coastal belt of Pakistan stretches to 1,050 kilometers. Out of which 700 kilometers lie in Balochistan and 350 kilometers lie in Sindh. Approximately four million people are engaged in marine fishing in Pakistan. Fish, prawns and other marine creatures collected from the sea are exported to various parts of the world and serve as substantial source of foreign exchange. Nevertheless oil spilled by cargo ships and large boats and untreated pollutants discharged from factories into the sea are a large cause of pollution and menace to marine life.
The five great oceans covering above 70 percent of the earth’s surface are experiencing with record breaking in the twenty-first century. The worldwide production of plastic has increased to nearly 300 million tonnes a year. Above 8 million of that terminates in the oceans. The problem of excessive fishing, unlawful fishing and unfair fishing practices such as the use of dynamite to catch fish, which leads to large-scale losses and harm to the environment, with some species of fish nearing death just to feed humanity’s increasing hunger. The Mariana ditch is the deepest natural trench in the world. The existence of plastic in such a far flung location in Earth’s deep biosphere is not nice news at all. As reported by the United Nations, 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the ocean every year. Also as stated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program, the quantity and range of plastic waste found in marine environment has accelerated with the increasing use of plastics in our society. Daily items for example like plastic bags, polystyrene foam glasses and plates, plastic balloons, industrial plastic and common items used in fishing (nets, buoys and traps) often enter oceans. Some specific plastic items can take long time to biodegrade in a marine environment. A cigarette butt, for instance, would take nearly 10 years to biodegrade. A fishing line would take nearly 600 years to go through the biodegrading process. In latest months, the destructive effect of plastic waste penetrating oceans has been seen in numerous whale deaths across the world. Maintaining a check on marine debris and plastic pollution also remains a huge task in India. In excess of 7,500 kilometer long many Indian beaches are blameworthy of stockpiling plastic litter and non-biodegradable marine debris that cause long-term damage to the surrounding ecosystem. There are some signs of inspiration. Malaysia, which is one of the peak 10 countries polluting the oceans, has recently decided to send back approximately 3,000 metric tons of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia in a move to prevent becoming a dumping ground for rich nations. By 2050, world oceans could include more plastics than fish.

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