World Oceans Day is an international day, and it was first introduced in 1992 to raise awareness of the crucial role the sea plays as sources of food, oxygen, and medicine. It was officially recognized by the United Nations (UN) in 2008 and is observed on June 8 each year. World Oceans Day is a global observance and not a public holiday. The concept of a World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it. The concept was originally proposed by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. The international day supports the implementation of worldwide Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and fosters public interest in the management of the ocean and its resources. This is one of the multiple reasons why we should celebrate World Oceans Day: to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, wealth, and the promise of the ocean. Numerous events are held around the world to mark World Oceans Day. One of the organizing bodies, the Ocean Project, counted more than 300 events in 45 countries in 2010. These included photo contests, fossil hunting walks, demonstrations, and concerts. Different themes are assigned to every World Oceans Day.
The world’s oceans play a key role for life on Earth. According to the UN, they are “the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, as well as a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.” In the past few decades, the threats from pollution, overfishing, and other forms of exploitation to marine habitats have increased dramatically. As the challenges to the ocean continue to grow, so does the need for novel solutions and the people driving them.