A group of scientists has published a new plan to save oceans, not only because it’s important, but for our health, too.Â
The new paper includes 35 ambitious first steps for action by various individuals and groups, such as healthcare workers, researchers, individual citizens, private organisations, and of course, policy-makers.Â
Here is what you need to know.
Saving Our Oceans and Protecting Ourselves
The SOPHIE project (the Seas Oceans and Public Health in Europe) is an interdisciplinary European collaboration funded by Horizons 2020 and led by the University of Exeter. Recently, scientists involved in the project released the first steps that many organisations could choose to work together to save oceans. Such a mission is mandatory as ocean health is totally linked to our health.Â
A united global plan: insights
Lora Fleming is the first author of the paper and a professor at the University of Exeter. She released a statement explaining the importance of saving oceans:
“[…] climate and other environmental change and the perilous state of our seas have made clear that we share a single planet with a single global ocean.”
The ocean is an essential source of food and economic income internationally. The outcomes of our activities are incredibly severe. And that’s not the only thing.
Extreme weather events triggered by climate result in exposure to harmful algal blooms, coastal flooding, and microbial and chemical pollution.
Here are the possible first steps supported by scientists:
- individual citizens can encourage sustainability at schools and take part in ocean-based science projects or beach cleans;
- healthcare professionals could promote more community activities;
- large businesses can review their influence on oceans, support community projects, and share best practice;
- tourism operators can choose to share their customers’ experiences of the benefits of spending time by the coast on well-being.
These are only a few steps we could start with. But we should act only if we want to protect our health and the oceans’ as well.
By choosing to work together with businesses, communities, policy-makers, and other stakeholders, we can find effective, new methods of saving oceans.