World Ocean Day: Oceans have survived thousands of years but it is finding difficult to survive the demon that is mankind.

Today, 8 June is celebrated as the World Ocean Day. Its the only time in the year when we remember that we are all connected to the oceans no matter where we live, no matter how far we live from the coasts.

This year’s theme for World Oceans Day is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. The disastrous amount of plastic is ending up in our oceans. Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year causing a huge damage to marine ecosystems.

According to a 2017 study published in Environmental Science & Technology,100 million marine mammals are killed each year from plastic pollution. Single-use plastic straws, polythene bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups that are discarded after just one-time use. India generates 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, and the country alone is responsible for dumping 60% of plastic waste into the world’s oceans every year. The global journal stated that three of the world’s ten rivers which carry 90% of plastic to the world’s oceans are in India – the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra.

90% of the sea birds are dying due to the consumption of floating plastic garbage in the oceans. Offshore oil drilling is leading to the death of turtles, dolphins and other marine organisms.

This is what we would lose on in some years:

Here is what you can do:

1. Reduce energy use : Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is making our oceans more acidic. One consequence could be the loss of corals on a global scale, as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water. There are many simple ways you can reduce your energy use. Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation. Use high efficiency appliances in your home. Turn off appliances when they aren’t in use.

2. Reduce the trash: Find ways to reuse, donate, or recycle unwanted items instead of tossing them in the landfill.

3. Use fewer plastic products: Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in non disposable containers, use reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible.

4. Don’t purchase items that exploit marine life: Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawks-bill turtles), and shark products.

5. Properly dispose of hazardous materials: Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly.  This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Be sure to dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way.

We have to realize now as its high time that ocean pollution is for real. Constructing tall statues and cities into the ocean will only degrade it further and the damage will be irreversible. The oceans have survived thousands of year but it is finding difficult to survive the demon that is mankind. Let us pledge to save our oceans by saying NO! to plastic.