World Oceans Day 202107 Jun 2021
A healthy ocean is vital to the health of our planet, it provides 50% of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs climate-change-inducing CO2 from the atmosphere; it provides food, jobs and recreation and is home to most of the biodiversity on Earth. Despite our very survival being dependent on the health of the ocean, less than 10% enjoys protection. World Oceans Day, marked on 8th June each year, seeks to highlight the issues facing 70% of the Earth’s surface and the theme for 2021 is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’, seeking to shine a spotlight on the importance of the health of the ocean and how it is interwoven in all that we do.
Here in the Maldives 44 areas have been designated as Marine Protected Areas, creating safe havens for marine life. In Lhaviyani Atoll, the protected areas are Kuredu Express, Fushivaru Thila, Anemone Thila and the reefs and channel surrounding Vavvaru. These sites are well known for sharks and mantas, corals and, with Vavvaru, nesting seabirds on the island. In South Ari Atoll there is huge swathe of reef under protection due to it being a globally significant aggregation site for whale sharks. As well as areas of protection the Maldives protects certain species too and the list includes: coral, sharks, napoleon wrasse and turtles – all of which can be seen when diving and snorkelling with us.
You, as divers and snorkellers, make perfect ambassadors for the ocean, you’ve seen how incredible life below the surface, the more people who have experienced first-hand the wonders of the marine world the better. Join campaigns such as the ‘Protect 30% by 2030’, add your name to petitions and spread the word, tag #WorldOceanDay #Protect30x30 – do whatever you can to save our oceans!