On World Oceans Day on Thursday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave a message to protect oceans around the world in which he urged for collective action.
He said, “The ocean is the foundation of life. It supplies the air we breathe and food we eat. It regulates our climate and weather. The ocean is our planet’s greatest reservoir of biodiversity.”
Climate change cause of many problems
Oceans have greater utility apart from these benefits. They provide resources that support local economies, public health, and communities. Fishes constitute 17% when it comes to meat consumption worldwide and they are an important source of animal protein.
Guterres further said, “We should be the ocean’s best friend. But right now, humanity is its worst enemy,” he was pointing to the evidence while giving the statement.
The UN chief also pointed out that the climate change resulting from human actions has been the cause of planet’s warming up and has been disrupting patterns and ocean currents, affecting marine ecosystems and lifestyle of marine animals.
Marine life is also being affected by ocean acidification, over-exploitation and overfishing, fishes being diminished while natural water bodies have been destroyed by human wastes, chemicals and plastics being discarded in them.
Ocean a supreme solution
Hinting at the worsening situation, he said, “But this year’s World Oceans Day reminds us that the tides are changing.”
At this juncture, the UN chief remembered that in December 2022, many nations agreed to complete a global target that would aim conservation and managing 30 per cent of land, marine and coastal areas, by the end of this decade.
A historic agreement on fisheries subsidies and the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, where the world decided to press for more proactive action, were also witnessed in the last year.
No current global issue, such as climate change, food security, or poverty, can be resolved without taking into account the ocean as a potential solution.
Just before the World Oceans Day on Thursday, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) issued this statement.
The ocean has a lot of potential to help feed the expanding global population and is already the primary source of protein for more than a billion people worldwide.
Aquaculture, or the farming of fish and aquatic plants, has developed quickly, according to Manuel Barange, Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources at the FAO.
He said, “Aquaculture has been the fastest growing food production system for the last five decades, from virtually zero three or four decades ago, to now virtually the same production as capture fisheries. We expect aquaculture to grow by about 25 per cent between now and the end of this decade.”
In an effort to combat hunger and malnutrition, the FAO started the Blue Transformation Initiative. The initiative backs providing marine food to battle the two issues.
It strives to guarantee consumer transparency throughout the value chain of aquatic foods and effective and sustainable management of fisheries.
According to the organisation, 600 million people rely on aquaculture and fishing for a living.