World Oceans Day 202308 Jun 2023
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 2023 is ‘Tides Are Changing’, seeking to bring the global community together, not just for a day, but long-term so that the world’s oceans receive the attention and resources they deserve to restore them to their former glory. Of course, here in the Maldives you’d be forgiven for thinking all is well with the health of the oceans but the beauty and abundance of life seen here is not representative worldwide.
Here in the Maldives over 40 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 is, the more people who have experienced first-hand the wonders of a healthy marine world the better. Enjoy the oceans, join campaigns and support businesses that put the health of the ocean first, and remember to spread the word to others! Tag #WorldOceanDay #Protect30x30 – do whatever you can to save our oceans.