Turkish Marine Research Foundation prepared a special panel 8 June World Oceans Day. The panel, held online due to coronavirus pandemic, will bring together 30 scientists, captains, divers and marine sector workers in 4 separate sessions. Biodiversity, climate change, species in need of protection, and problems of the maritime sector will be amongst the subjects included in discussions. The panel will be the most participated World Oceans Day event in Turkey.

The United Nations has determined this year’s theme as “Innovation for Sustainable Ocean”. World Oceans Day is calling for 30% of the world to be placed under protection until 2030. This crucial call for our planet is named 30×30. Let’s protect our seas together!

Conservation of marine environments, sustainable fisheries, fight against pollution and climate change took centre stage with the Ocean Project in 1992, gaining momentum with the involvement of UN in 2002, culminating in the proposal and acceptance of 8 June World Oceans Day in 2008 UN World Summit (https://unworldoceansday.org/; http://www.worldoceansday.org).

This initiative grew popular with the participation of more than 2000 individuals and organizations from nearly 140 countries. World Ocean Day is celebrated each year with growing popularity and conservation themed events are held everywhere in the world with events organized around a single universal theme.

In his speech, UN’s special envoy Peter Thomson mentions the importance of seas for our country;

“…As you well know, Turkey is surrounded by 3 different seas. It depends on them for livelihoods along the coastal areas such as fisheries and tourism, and thus for Turkey, clean seas and healthy marine and coastal ecosystems with high biodiversity are vital issues. This means the ongoing efforts of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation to foster marine conservation, support sustainable fisheries and raise awareness are all the more important. All nations should be working towards a sustainable blue economy; one that seeks to promote economic development, social inclusion and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans, seas and coastal areas. One that does, indeed, restore the balance between production and protection. To support the sustainable blue economy, we must prevent land-based sources of marine pollution entering the ocean. We must all work to tackle the growth of untreated sewage, agriculture and industrial runoff, and of course, plastic pollution. We need many measures to deal with plastics, not forgetting the microplastics and microfibers that have entered ocean’s fundament. We can recycle many sorts of plastics. We can capture plastic waste in rivers, improve coastal city waste collection, ban microbeads and single-use plastics, capture microfibers from clothing and wastewater treatment systems and hold major public awareness campaigns about these solutions. It’s time for us to take action. Despite the enormous challenges facing ocean health today, the good news is that we have a plan to bring respect and balance back to humanity’s relationship with the ocean. I refer, of course, to ‘Sustainable Development Goal 14’- the ocean goal and it’s purpose of conserving and sustainably utilizing ocean’s resources. For SDG 14 to succeed, we must all faithfully commit to the integrity of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and SDG 14, the climate goal, taken, of course, in tandem with SDG 14 whose targets depend very heavily on the implementation of climate action. These are no longer the days of talking about ocean’ problems, they are the days of action at global, regional, national, community and individual level for solutions…”

Oceans and seas are always of great importance for our country with various people and industries surrounding it. The future of our seas is threatened by pollution, overfishing, climate change, decreasing biodiversity, invasive species and other hazards. To protect our seas, we need to focus on ensuring sustainable use and following through with UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14.

TUDAV continues to celebrate World Oceans Day with great enthusiasm and purpose!

For the event page: https://tudav.org/en/8-june-world-oceans-day-2020/

About TUDAV:

Turkish Marine Research Foundation (Türk Deniz Araştırmaları Vakfı – TUDAV) was established in 1997, in İstanbul, Turkey, to conduct scientific research on marine environments, protect marine life and share our love of seas & oceans with the people. For this purpose, we have created a data bank for information exchange, published more than 50 books on the subject, hold seminars and workshops regularly to educate people and bring together scientists and experts from many fields, and collaborate in various national and international research projects. We are allied with the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, the High Seas Alliance, CIESM, MedPAN, NASCU, ICCAT, ACCOBAMS and UNEP MAP RAC/SPA.