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Inspirational text on the United Nations Motto for World Ocean Day 2018

Seventy percent of our home - the Blue Planet – is covered by oceans. We are yet to discover many of the ocean's mysteries and life forms. We rely on the oceans for our own life: they provide us with the air to breathe, the food to eat, the transport of our goods, the leisure for our recreation. But human pressures are all taking a heavy toll on ocean health and its capacity to continue nurturing us. The most serious are overexploitation, illegal and destructive fishing, organic and plastic pollution, habitat destruction, climate change provoking sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

So what can we do as individuals and collectively to protect the ocean in tangible ways? There are many ways to make a difference. We need to monitor our consumption of seafood to only eat fish from sustainable sources, reduce our ecological footprint, and campaign for better marine protection. It’s particularly important to stop the fast growing stream of plastic pollution, because once it has reached the vast expanses of the ocean it is hard – if not impossible – to clean up.

Therefore this year, for World Ocean Day, we focus on preventing plastic pollution and cleaning the beaches of marine litter. Plastic reaches the ocean mostly through the major rivers and along the shorelines. It makes up between 60-80% of marine debris, and destroys and harms marine life and habitat in many ways. As plastic is slowly broken up into smaller pieces, it travels as microplastic through the entire food chain and then ends up back on our dinner plate.

To fulfil our dream of a wondrous clean and healthy ocean teaming with life, we must do what we can to stop the garbage reaching the ocean in the first place – everywhere!

So for World Ocean Day, let’s celebrate ways in which we can prevent and reduce plastic pollution to help protect our ocean and ourselves!

Why do we celebrate World Ocean Day?

  • To remind everyone of the importance the Ocean has in everyday life. The ocean is the lung of our planet, providing much of the oxygen we breathe.
  • To inform the public on the impact of human actions on the Ocean, including massive overfishing, pollution and climate change.
  • To develop a worldwide movement of citizen towards protecting the Ocean from such ills.
  • To mobilise and unite the people in all parts of the world around activities for the sustainable management of the Ocean as a major source of food, medicines, jobs and leisure and a critical part of the biosphere.
  • To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the Ocean.

The United Nations General Assembly has solemnly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 14 is to Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Goal 14 positively connects with the majority of other SDGs. Let us seize the opportunity of World Oceans Day to contribute our share towards implementing the objectives.

Some resources for your participation:

An overview about the threats of marine litter was published by Mundus maris already in 2012.

A recent film illustrates many facets of plastic in the ocean.

See more resources on Our Ocean, Our Future

FishBase - Infos on all fish species in the world

SeaLifeBase - Infos on all organisms in the ocean (non-fish)


The Mundus maris Awards 2018 are in collaboration with:

Click on the logo to connect to the partner's website - together we hope to achieve more.

Eco Ethics Kenya


Centre de Recherche sur les Technologies Intermédiaires de Pêche (CREDETIP), Dakar, Senegal




Bénévoles Océan (Volonteers for the Ocean), Cameroon

Centre de Recherche sur les Technologies Intermédiaires de Pêche (CREDETIP), Dakar, Senegal

Científicos de la Basura, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile

COREN asbl, Brussels, Belgium

Eco Ethics Kenya, Mombasa, Kenya

Fair Fish, Zurich, Switzerland

Formica Blu, Rome, Italy

Latitud Zero, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Quantitative Aquatics Inc. (Q-quatics), Los Baños, Philippines

Turn- und Sportverein (TSV) Reinbek, Reinbek, Germany

World Oceans Day Project, USA

YOUMARES - Conference for Young Marine Researchers, Germany

Special events with an award ceremony for World Ocean Day:

The winners will be announced on World Oceans Day in several celebratory events in different cities around the world. Watch the Mundus maris website and social media to learn more about the special events.