Increasing temperatures in the oceans, which produce 80 percent of the world’s oxygen, are causing the destruction of seaweed and corals. One-third of marine mammals and sharks are in danger of extinction due to changing conditions in the oceans, which have warmed 0.76 degrees Celsius in the last century. 30 percent of the oceans must be protected by 2030 for the danger to disappear.
This year’s theme for World Oceans Day, celebrated on June 8 every year, is “Oceans: Life and Livelihood” to draw attention to those who live on the world and seas, where the oceans give life.
According to the information compiled from the studies of the United Nations Environment Program, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Ocean and Climate Platform, as well as academics and news sites publishing on the environment, the disappearance of corals puts the world in danger of decreasing oxygen, while fish diversity is associated with the extinction and migration of living things. decreasing.
Contrary to popular belief, the main source of oxygen in the world is not forests, but oceans. Seaweeds living in the oceans and seas, which cover two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, produce about 80 percent of the world’s oxygen.
In this respect, algae in the oceans, which are the most important oxygen source in the world, also attract attention as an important food and nesting area for aquatic creatures.
Corals in the sea are one of the most important creatures for the “health” of the world, as they produce oxygen as well as consume carbon dioxide. Covering about 25 per cent of the ocean’s surface, corals alone produce almost half of the oxygen produced by the seas.
In addition, 92 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans and one third by corals alone. Corals are the direct source of 17 percent of the protein consumed in the world.
However, the oceans are among the areas most affected by global warming, climate change, overfishing and pollution. Especially in the oceans, where greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are most absorbed, the temperature has increased by 0.76 degrees in the last hundred years.
The increased temperature primarily causes the color of the corals to turn white. This occurs when the algae that give life to the coral leave the coral reefs, that is, when the corals die.
The world’s largest reef, the 344 thousand square kilometer Great Barrier Reef, has halved due to warming, while nearly two-thirds of coral deaths have occurred since 1998.
The increase in temperature causes the death of corals and causes the destruction of aquatic life’s nests. Creatures that cannot live or reproduce in warmer waters either perish or migrate.
According to the data of the US-based non-governmental organization NRDC, one-third of marine mammals, sharks and shark-related species living today are in danger of extinction due to changing conditions in the oceans.
While living things migrate to the cold parts of the polar regions of the warming ocean, the melting glaciers at the poles threaten the life of living things.
Other threats to fish life are overfishing and sea and coastal settlements.
According to the NRDC’s report, one-third of the fish in stocks are surplus, while two-thirds of the remaining fish are above sustainable fisheries.
The structuring on the coasts and in the sea and the extraction of oil and natural gas from the seabed cause the seas to become polluted and more acidic, and accelerate the destruction of shellfish, plankton and corals.
The first steps to be taken to protect the oceans are to prevent overfishing and to impose catch limits. While the protection of the ecosystem imposes a priority catch limit, the creation of protected areas in the oceans stands out as another precaution.
Stating that these protected areas should cover 30 percent of the oceans and the ocean coasts to a significant extent, the researchers draw attention to the importance of combating climate change not only for the oceans but also for the whole world.
Another step that needs to be taken to protect the oceans is the renewal of conservation laws and regulations. For this, NRDC underlines that an international institution should determine these steps and new regulations. The NRDC emphasizes that 30 percent of the oceans should be protected by 2030.