Healthy oceans, healthy planet - World Oceans Day, 8 June 2016
The oceans have long captured the hearts and minds of people around the world. The mysteries of its depths, the wonder of its creatures and the power of its waves have fed our curiosity and imagination since ancient times. The oceans have played an essential role in human history, connecting peoples, driving trade and crafting our various cultures. We now also understand how important the oceans are to human survival, well-being and sustainable development.
The overall importance of the oceans cannot be understated. More than four billion people rely on fish for a substantial share of their protein intake. The oceans and the life therein are critical to the healthy functioning of the planet, as the oceans support essential biogeochemical processes, supplying, for example, half of the oxygen we breathe. Oceans contain some 250,000 known species and yet many more remain to be discovered - at least two thirds of the word’s marine species are still unidentified. The many species in our oceans also provides a number of medicines and biochemicals. Clearly, planetary well-being, as well as the health, wealth and survival of humans are closely intertwined with the health of the oceans.
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