People depend on the oceans, it is a basis for livelihoods. Photo credit - GCCA+/EU 2020. Photo taken by Harvey Lisse, 2020

 

More than seventy percent of the surface of the earth consists of oceans which are of great significance for our survival. According to National Geographics, eighty percent of the indispensable biodiversity on earth are in the oceans and for some people it is the basis of their livelihood. 1

In Suriname, the fisheries sector is the largest in the Agricultural sector, with over thirty five percent of the production value and an export quantity between thirty five percent and forty percent of the total export. In 2020, around seven thousand (7,000) people were employed in the processing and supply of fish.2

Besides fishing as a means of livelihood, there are also tour operators who find their means of livelihood in the ocean. For instance, Eco lodges have been set up along the coast of Nickerie in the Bigi Pan Area, and several tour operators organize sight-seeing / dolphins trips, which also contribute to Suriname's tourism industry.

Apart from the fact that oceans provide employment, they regulate the climate, they absorb greenhouse gases and provide us with most of the oxygen we breathe. Oceans also contribute to regulating the global climate as they contribute to temperature regulation, impact the weather, influence rainfall patterns, droughts, and floods. Oceans are the world’s largest storage of carbon, where the global carbon cycle is circulated through marine waters, and they form a “sink” for CO2.

A sustainable livelihood for tourism. Stephanie owns an eco-lodge in the middle of the Bigipan lagoon area. Photo credit - GCCA+/EU 2019 / UNDP Suriname. Photo taken by Manorama Sunuwar

 

At present oceans are threatened by human actions such as, chemical pollution, deep sea mining activities, overfishing, plastic pollution, oil, and exhaust fumes (CO2 pollution). In combination with climate change, these threats make oceanic and terrestrial areas vital to our planet, extremely vulnerable.

Oceans are indispensable treasure troves since all life on Earth depends on them- today they need us to ensure their sustainability and so it’s very important that we contribute to the conservation, protection, restoration and maintenance of healthy oceans. A healthy ocean is a crucial part of the solution to the climate crisis. Although we have divided the oceans amongst us, they are all interconnected and need global collaborative actions across boundaries, to ensure effective strategies are implemented and desired results are achieved. Let us work together on sustainable fishing alternatives, stop plastic pollution, combat climate change, and above all, devising even better methods for the oil and gas industries.

By supporting the protection and restorations of the oceans, we can protect our planet's life support systems, especially the interconnected challenges between oceans, climate, and biodiversity.

Because without our oceans there is no life....

 

References:

  1. https://media.nationalgeographic.org/assets/file/one-ocean-chapter-3.pdf
  2. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visserij_in_Suriname
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