Why Celebrate the Sea?
Most of us don’t pay attention to the very element that keeps us all alive. If the sea is our heart, we will certainly pay more attention to its wellbeing. In fact the sea is the heart, the cradle of our existence; the living Sea has been the source and support for all life on Earth for over 3 billion years. The Seas occupy nearly 70.98% of our planet's surface and the sea provide 99 percent of the Earth's living space - the largest space in our universe known to be inhabited by living organisms. The Seas act as both our heaters and air conditioners.
Ocean currents move warm water to cold areas and likewise from cold to warm. The Seas absorb heat in summer and release it in winter. The Seas and marine life consume huge amounts of carbon dioxide, and much more oxygen is produced and released through oceanic photosynthesis than by all the earth's terrestrial plants and forests combined. Without the sea there could be no life on this planet.
We celebrate our National Day, we celebrate our birthday, we celebrate the New Year, we even have bank holiday, yet through the ages, none of us, kingdom, nation or country have ever take time to celebrate the sea ... the essential element that keeps us all alive. We are just beginning to understand our Seas, the processes, and life within her embrace.
But it is a puzzling question, especially to those of us who recognized the fact that our politicians spend so little resources to protect our seas. The “out of sight and out of mind” mentality is obvious. If only the Seas were as clear as our sky, perhaps than we will realize the urgency in cleaning up our act and protect our resources.
After staging several Sea Life Festivals in the 90s’, OceanNEnvironment conceptualised and launched “Celebrate the Sea Festival 2002” in Singapore to promote greater awareness of the beauty and the importance of our seas. Since most life on Earth is aquatic, in terms of both diversity and biomass, it seems reasonable for us to direct extra interest in getting to know who’s who in the sea, appreciate each and every living creature that makes up the vast biospheres that effectively influence our existence, climate, weather and the mechanism that made this water planet a hospitable place for life. Celebrate the Sea Festival promote the beauty and greater awareness of the splendour of our ocean.
Facts about our Ocean
1. Planet Earth is a water planet. Earth's ocean is one great connected body of water that covers about 71% of the planet's surface and contains 97% of all water on the Earth.
2. Most of the rest of the water is frozen in glaciers and icecaps, and the remainder is in the atmosphere, underground, and in streams, rivers and lakes.
3. We could not live without water.
4. Our tears are of salt water.
5. Every natural element can be found in the ocean. Approximately 3½% of ocean water is made up of salts, most of which is the same as our ordinary table salt. The salts come from the wearing away of rocks, from underwater springs and from material that explodes from volcanoes and falls from the atmosphere. As water evaporates from the ocean, salts are left. Then precipitation (rain) returns fresh water to the ocean.
6. The ocean provides foods from plants and animals, energy, transportation, medicine, minerals and natural resources, many products, weather systems, climate, rainfall from ocean evaporation, tidal power, and oxygen.
7. The ocean and the atmosphere interact upon each other, creating a "weather machine" which affects climates and global weather. Far more heat/energy is stored in the ocean than in the atmosphere.
8. Ocean currents help to balance and distribute this heat/energy around the planet and regulate temperatures. Ocean currents are like giant rivers. They move both horizontally and vertically.
9. Surface circulation is regulated by winds and the rotation of Earth, and deeper circulation (thermohaline circulation) is a function of density differences in water masses.
10. There is incredible biodiversity of life in the ocean; in fact, more plant and animal life is found in the ocean than on land.
11. Nearly half the Earth's major animal groups live only in the sea. Marine plants and plant like organisms are found where sunlight can penetrate the water for photosynthesis to occur, so they are nearer the surface.
12. There are great underwater forests of Giant Kelp and vast coral reef ecosystems in the ocean which a tremendous amount of species depend upon for habitat and food sources.
13. Oceans and marine life consume huge amounts of carbon dioxide, and more oxygen is produced and released through oceanic photosynthesis than by all the earth's terrestrial (land) plants and forests combined.
14. As the waters of the ocean are in constant movement, this promotes a whole complex food cycle as various nutrients are carried by currents and cycled through the water. Bits and pieces of organisms and matter rain down through the water as they sink to the bottom. As they move through the water, living organisms and animals consume them. Many nutrients that reach the bottom are consumed by the bottom dwellers
15. About 13,000 different species of fish live in the ocean. Some marine mammals live their whole lives in the ocean (such as whales and porpoises) and others can spend time in the ocean or on land (such as sea lions and seals).
16. Most of the sea animals live in the surface waters where there is an abundance of food.
17. Humans have caused great damage to the oceans ecosystems and inhabitants. Many areas have been severely polluted, especially from industrial wastes and sewage near coasts, and oil spills and dumping of wastes in the ocean. Humans have overfished certain species to the point of endangering the survival of those species.
18. Harmful fishing methods and mining practices continue to destroy underwater ecosystems.
19. The living ocean has been the Life Support System for planet Earth for over 3 billion years.
20. We are just beginning to understand our ocean, its processes, and life within it. We do know that, without the ocean there could be no life on Earth.