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World Oceans Day

Two bikini-wearing snorkellers holding hands whilst snorkelling

History

World Oceans Day takes place every 8 June. The idea was first brought up by Canada at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The joint proposal was put forward by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC). However, it was only officially recognised as an international observance in 2008 and the first World Oceans Day was held on 8 June 2009.

Why we celebrate World Ocean’s Day

The idea of World Oceans Day was to make our oceans a main topic in discussions held by intergovernmental agencies and Non-Govermental Organisations (NGOs). Oceans play a vital role in sustaining life on Earth; and World Oceans Day serves to raise awareness about the impact of human actions on the ocean, to develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the oceans, and to unite and mobilise the world’s population on the sustainable management of our oceans.

World Oceans Day celebrates our oceans, their importance in our lives, and how each of us can protect it. The Day helps to increase awareness about our oceans and inspires continuous action that will help us to conserve and sustain these amazing resources that we all depend on.

How we celebrate World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is celebrated annually with a theme. This year there is a Conservation theme and a UN-designated theme. The conservation focus for 2019 is on plastic pollution. A surge in single-use palstics over the past few decades has led to a global environmental catastrophe – 13,000,000 tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean every year. This year’s World Ocean Days aims to encourage people to take up leadership in preventing plastic pollution and to share solutions that help reduce plastic use.

The UN-designated theme for this year is on Gender and the Ocean. It aims to build greater ocean and gender literacy and to explore ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine science, research, fisheries management, seafaring, migration, human trafficking, management and policy-making.

What you can do to observe World Oceans Day?

The best thing you can do to celebrate World Oceans Day is to learn more about the ocean! Learn about its importance and the ecosystems it sustains. Learn about how the ocean supports life on earth and how humanity depends on the ocean. Read about it on the internet, in books and learn more at your local aquarium. If you are in Townsville, jump on our Great Barrier Reef tour and let us take you out to the reef and teach you about the oceans!