Foremost of the 12 Olympians in ancient Greek mythology was Poseidon, god of all the Seas.
It’s easy to understand why our ancestors venerated the oceans.
They are key to the functioning of earth and its creatures. They provide nutrition up the food
chain, a medium for marine life to flourish and potable water for humans through desalination.
They enrich us through the incredible biodiversity of its denizens.
El Nino and La Nina! Our oceans’ mercurial siblings upon whom we depend for our rain and
for our stability and survival. Unbalance them and our reward is disaster through drought,
savage tempests, floods and wanton destruction.
The phytoplankton of the oceans produce 50 per cent of earth’s oxygen. Oceans are the vast
reservoirs that increasingly neutralise the toxins spewed by humanity. Poison them and you
poison all of life.
Our Oceans Under Threat:
Allow earth to run dry like Mars, or render its oceans unusable, and you propel mankind to
inevitable oblivion. Use all which our oceans have to offer but conserve them and ensure that
our methods are sustainable.
Humans pose serious threats to the marine environment including through pollution,
overexploitation, global warming and deforestation.
Plastics and micro-plastics poison and kill marine animals and take hundreds of years to
biodegrade. We must end our reliance on plastic products and recycle what’s there.
Let’s invest heavily in water-soluble plastic and other biodegradable ocean-friendly materials
such as paper, to replace plastic.
Could Ideonella sakainesis be the unlikely saviour of our oceans from demon plastic? This
plastic-eating bacterium was discovered in 2016 by researchers from Kyoto Institute of
Technology and Keio University.
Let’s pressure our governments and scientists to find a way to mass produce these microbes
and populate our landfills in order to degrade the millions of tons of plastic that end up in our
Let’s take to the beaches in clean up brigades to remove decades of accumulated plastic
Fuel spills (e.g. BP disaster), mercury and chemical pollution from mines and factories affect
the oceans negatively. Desalination plants dump salt back into the water. Fishing residues
Effective policing and prosecution is needed to make polluters pay and clean up. Name,
shame and force them to reintroduce the marine species they harm.
The generation, storage and testing of nuclear power, weapons and radioactive wastes in or
near the oceans must be banned. Remember Bikini Atoll and Fukushima.