World Oceans Day marked
The World Oceans Day was marked on 8 June 2017 with the theme being “Our oceans, our future”.
Oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and regulate climate. They are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income and serve as the backbone of international trade.
Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world’s oceans and seas.
This year’s Day was celebrated alongside the first-ever The Ocean Conference at UN Headquarters in New York. The conference aimed to strengthen commitments to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 14 – to conserve and viably use the ocean.
Kenya made a positive move in an effort to tackle plastic pollution when it recently announced a ban on the manufacture and use of plastic bags that litter much of the country. The ban is due to take effect on 28 August. If successful the measure could go a long way in reducing the amount of plastics that up in the Indian Ocean through Kenyan rivers.