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Today is a special day. As you might have guessed from the title, we’re here to celebrate on behalf of our nation’s date of choice, the importance of our lovely seven seas! With a catch of awareness behind it, of course.
Having assumed responsibilities over the largest marine area of the European Union, being eighteen times bigger than its country's size, Portugal has a leading role in alerting society to the importance and preservation of marine ecosystems. In fact, as the oldest nation-state in Europe, dating back to the year 1139, we observe how the history of the country is deeply connected to the Atlantic Ocean. At the time, what laid ahead the horizon was unknown and the unravelling of that mystery eventually led to an empire covering half the world. The good old days when there was no marine pollution and the only existing danger was hovering over the captains and their crews. Now, unless the Kraken is still around, there is absolutely no doubt that we have become the danger itself!
In a previous post about Marine Pollution, we’ve seen the alarming statistics and consequences of using the ocean as a garbage bin. The toxicity we have inflicted through plastic, chemicals and pollution, in general, is clearly not a sight for sore eyes.
"We are at a crucial moment for ocean conservation. On the one hand, we face huge environmental challenges such as the climate emergency and species extinction crisis. But on the other hand, we currently have the tools and scientific knowledge needed to implement effective marine conservation measures."
-Bárbara Horta e Costa, researcher at the Algarve Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR-Algarve) and the University of Algarve (UAlg).”
Considering the oceanic country’s concerns and measures in this regard, such as the last year's establishment of the largest fully protected marine reserve in Europe, it has been suggested by experts in the field that the country should lead the international agenda for marine conservation. Gladly for us, this year we had the second UN Ocean Conference, co-hosted by Portugal and attended by more than seven thousand people from 140 countries. You can take a look at the conference's programme goals here. It seems we are in good hands and not alone on our mission! Some of the themes covered, along with the fight against marine pollution, were the following:
As shown, all these meetings aim at dealing directly with the problems we face and accelerating the global ambition to fight against pollution, reinforce biodiversity preservation and integrate sustainability in the sea economy. But, hey, homework here is of (the planet's) life importance as you know, so here are some incredible tips from our friends at consumernotice.org on how to help reduce pollution in your waterways, with valuable suggestions and behaviours to avoid, so we can be part of the change we want to see!
Don’t miss out on those details and tips! We’ll see you next week!