For close to a quarter of a century now, June 8th has been devoted to celebrating World Oceans Day. The day dedicated to ocean cognizance continues to gather momentum each year. The concept, first introduced in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Brazil, was eventually recognized by the United Nations in 2008. The day’s focus is to highlight the importance of the seas for the planet’s survival and seek out ways to ensure and safeguard its sustainability. The challenges and increasing perils that the oceans are currently enduring have been well publicized. These, due in large part to variances in climate, pollution, habitat destruction and irresponsible and unregulated commercial fishing will require massive global coordination to even begin to remedy.
Another stumbling block in mapping out and managing the best strategic practices for ensuring a healthier ocean state going forward is how relatively little is still known about the planet’s dynamics below the outer crust. While the oceans account for approximately 97 percent of the earth’s water and cover a bit over 70 percent of its surface, to date only around 5% of the oceans’ content has been accessed by mankind. The importance of the seas for sustaining life, affecting weather patterns, functioning as the connector for remote locations as well as the provider of economic and physical well-being of millions, is little disputed. To fully understand optimum balances and work to react accordingly, much still needs to be discovered about the earth’s biological, geological, chemical and physical interactions — and how best to support these by land and by sea.