Humans have been using the ocean for many centuries, for various things from fishing and migrating to tourism and shipping. Humans have harvested resources from our oceans for thousands of years and we continue to do it more and more each day but it has gotten more evident that we need to do something about it fast.
The consequences of doing nothing will be disastrous for the planet. If we don’t take action, many species will soon be extinct, including the majority of fish stock and coral reefs across the world – a mass extinction of animals and plants that could have a significant impact on the well-being of humans.
In addition to these consequences, the acidification of the oceans will increase over time due to rising carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere. This process has already begun and is moving closer to the point where, as of 2020, the ocean’s average pH sat around 8.1, which is basic ( or alkaline). Eventually, as the oceans continue to absorb more carbon dioxide, the pH level of the oceans decreases and becomes more acidic.
Overfishing is another serious problem that needs to be addressed immediately. It threatens the food supply because of decreased fish stocks. If we don’t protect our oceans, there will be fewer fish and less protein available for human consumption. This causes economic harm as well as environmental damage through overharvesting, illegal trade practices, and other factors that affect our economy negatively.
You may have heard of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which governs how countries can use their oceans. The law helps maintain not only peaceful relations on the oceans but also their conservation and sustainable use.
There’s also a law called The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which aims to protect biodiversity around the world. A group of world leaders and scientists created a plan to protect 30% of the world’s oceans in 10 years. The aim is to protect at least 30 percent of all living resources from overfishing, pollution, and climate change. The commission will work with countries around the world to develop policies that ensure these goals are met by 2030.
“The time has come to change the trajectory of our planet and, in turn, the future of humankind. We can no longer continue with a ‘business as usual’ attitude. This December in Montreal, Canada, I challenge every nation and every person to support the adoption of AN AMBITIOUS, REALISTIC AND IMPLEMENTABLE post-2020 global biodiversity framework; our roadmap to a healthy, sustainable future,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the executive secretary of the Convention of Biological Diversity, during the COP-15 conference in Montreal, Canada, December 7-19, 2022.
The conference will see the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework which will provide a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade.