World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was officially declared by the United Nations as June 8th each year
beginning in 2009. The concept was proposed on 8 June, 1992 by Canada at the Earth
Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and it'd been unofficially celebrated every year since
then as World Ocean Day.

On the first World Oceans Day the Secretary-General of the United Nations gave the
following message:

The first observance of World Oceans Day allows us to highlight the many ways in
which oceans contribute to society. It's also an opportunity to recognise the
considerable challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global
climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and
safe recreation.

Indeed, human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world’s oceans and seas.
Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being
damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,
destructive fishing practises, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially
from land-based sources. Increased sea temperatures, sea-level rise and ocean
acidification caused by climate change pose a further threat to marine life, coastal
and island communities and national economies.

Oceans are also affected by criminal activity. Piracy and armed robbery against ships
threaten the lives of seafarers and the safety of international shipping, which
transports 90 per cent of the world’s goods. Smuggling of illegal drugs and the
trafficking of persons by sea are further examples of how criminal activities threaten
lives and the peace and security of the oceans.

Several international instruments drawn up under the auspices of the United Nations
address these numerous challenges. At their centre lies the 1982 United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea. It provides the legal framework within which all
activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, and is the basis for international
cooperation at all levels. In addition to aiming at universal participation, the world
must do more to implement this Convention and to uphold the rule of law on the seas
and oceans.

The theme of World Oceans Day, “Our oceans, our responsibility”, emphasises our
individual and collective duty to protect the marine environment and carefully
manage its resources. Safe, healthy and productive seas and oceans are integral to
human well-being, economic security and sustainable development.

World Ocean Day's an opportunity every year to honour the world's ocean, celebrate
the products the ocean provides, such as seafood, as well as marine life itself for
aquariums, pets, and also a time to appreciate its own intrinsic value. The ocean also
provides sea-lanes for international trade. Global pollution and over-consumption of
fish have resulted in drastically dwindling population of the majority of species. The
Ocean Project, working in partnership with the World Ocean Network, has been
promoting WOD since 2003 with its network of over 900 organisations and others
throughout the world. These groups have been working to build greater awareness of
the crucial role of the ocean in our lives and the important ways people can help.
World Ocean Day provides an opportunity to get directly involved in protecting our
future, through a new mindset and personal and community action and involvement –
beach cleanups, educational programs, art contests, film festivals, sustainable
seafood events, and other planned activities help to raise consciousness of how our
lives depend on the ocean.

The official United Nations 2009 World Oceans Day theme's: "Our Oceans, Our

The 2009 World Oceans Day theme promoted by the broad network of NGOs's: “one
ocean, one climate, one future”.

External Websites:

US Fish & Wildlife Services
Ocean Explorer - (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) - The Ocean
Explorer web site is entertaining and educational for you to learn about, discover, and
virtually explore the ocean.

Ocean Surface Topography From Space - Stuff For Kids - Toppy the Satellite welcomes
you to his "TOPEX/Poseidon Online Coloring & Activity Book." Through his fun pictures
and activities, you can learn all about him, the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, and what he

Oceans and Coasts - NOAA Education - (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration)-From the Antarctic to Pacific coral reefs, this site is full of fun links and
interactive games about our oceans and coasts.
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