8 June, 2016 8 June, 2016

Today Really Is World Oceans Day

For surfers, every day is pretty much ‘World Oceans Day.’ But hey, we’re not complaining if people of the planet want to go ahead and make it official!

If you’ve never heard of the ‘official’ World Oceans Day (WOD) before, this special day, celebrated annually on 8 June, aims to raise awareness of the role of the oceans and the importance of conserving and protecting our marine environment.

WOD has a history spanning over roughly two decades. It was originally proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since then, World Oceans Day has been co-ordinated internationally by the Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with global participation. It was officially recognised by the United Nations in 2008, and South Africa celebrates it every year with different selected themes.

For 2015-2016, the United Nations adopted the World Oceans Day theme “Healthy oceans, healthy planet,” in light of the fact that often members of the public are unaware that coastal litter is generated further inland. South Africa was recently noted as the 11th worst country in the world for dumping plastics in the ocean. Bearing that harsh reality in mind, it is apt that South Africa has adopted the following WOD extended theme: “From mountains, catchments and rivers, to the ocean floor – a nation at work towards healthy oceans and a healthy planet.”

World Oceans Day are urging all sea lovers (and haters) to record a video of yourself making a promise to the ocean: whether that’s giving up using plastic straws, recycling, or committing to participating in two beach cleanups a year. You can join the likes of Mr. Jack Johnson and many others from around the world, by sharing your video on their Facebook page with the hashtag #‎WaveForChange‬.

SA’s Department of Environmental Affairs will lead the celebration of World Oceans Day with various speakers, presentations, exhibitions, workshops, initiatives and events taking place around the country during the course of June.

There has been no mention as to whether World Oceans Day means surfers can take the day off to go surfing. But we reckon that should be included somewhere under one of the clauses.

We’d all be miserable land mammals without the sea, so make every day a World Oceans Day by treating it with the utmost respect, reducing, re-using and recycling. And help save our oceans to allow for enjoyment of the salty goodness for future frothers…


Image © Blair Austin

Lead Image © Grant Scholtz

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