Conservation International sent out an email today with these great facts on it! I just can’t help but share them with you!!
70 Percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans.
1 Percent of the Earth’s oceans are protected.
1 billion People worldwide depend on the ocean as their main source of protein.
52 Percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited. Another 20 percent are moderately exploited, and 19 percent are over-exploited.
3/4 Of tropical commercial fish depend on mangrove forests for food, habitat, breeding or nursery grounds.
Up to 35 Percent of the world’s mangrove forests have been destroyed in the last 30 years.
1,400 Pounds – potential weight of a northern bluefin tuna. Top predators like this one are vital to the ocean food chain.
90 Percent of large predatory fish populations—including cod, shark and bluefin tuna—have disappeared worldwide due to unsustainable fishing practices.
1 in 4 Of all marine species live in coral reef ecosystems. (It’s no wonder reefs are often called “the tropical rainforests of the ocean.”)
20 Percent of the world’s coral reefs have been lost to date. Another 20 percent are degraded.
70-80 Percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced by the ocean.
150,000+ Is the combined size in square miles of pollution-caused “dead zones”—marine habitats that no longer support oxygen-using species. That’s larger than the state of Montana.
97 Percent of all water on earth is located in the planet’s oceans.
1 The number of “blue planets” called Earth.
In related news, Mary Beth and I will be doing Reef Check from the coast of the Dominican Republic during the first week of August! We will get to check the state of some reefs that are relatively untouched by other divers. Hopefully this will mean that the reef is more pristine (though I hate blaming reef degradation on my fellow divers, we do have a large impact on the underwater environment), but even the most remote reefs have been showing stress. Corals are extremely delicate animals (yes, they are animals!) and although they are also quite resilient, they can’t recover from the stress of pollution, disease, overfishing and heat if the stress never goes away! But that’s why we’re here! To show communities all around the Caribbean (including all of you in the US!!!) the importance of the reef systems and how to protect them!