Oceans are the life support system of our planet and humankind. The seas flow over nearly three-quarters of the Earth and hold 97% of the planet’s water. Sea plants, like Posidonia, produce 70% of the oxygen we breathe; that’s every second breath we take. The oceans are home to incredible biodiversity and some of the most massive creatures on Earth. Producing more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, they also absorb the most carbon. No matter where you live in the world, from the mountains to the desert, oceans directly affect your life and the lives of everyone you know.
From the air that you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, to the products that keep you warm, safe, informed, and entertained, all can come from or are transported by the ocean. Around 50% of the world’s population lives within the coastal zone, and ocean-based businesses contribute more than $500 billion to the world’s economy.
Historically, we thought we could never take too much out of the oceans or put too much waste into them. However, the sheer number of people on our overpopulated planet who use and depend on the sea and the sometimes unwise practices we adopt have created many problems such as overfishing, pollution, acidifying oceans, biodiversity loss, and degradation of marine habitats, among others. As a result, we now risk the very ecosystems on which our survival so closely depends.