World Wildlife Day is primarily celebrated every year on 3rd March to create awareness about the wildlife on the Earth. The theme for this year’s World Wildlife Day 2019 is: Life below water: for people and planet. This is in line with the fourteen goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These are to preserve seas, oceans, and other marine resources. A major challenge is plastic pollution.
More than two thirds of the planet’s surface area is covered with the most abundant of our resources: water. Around 97 per cent of this is in the ocean. They are inhabited by wonderful creatures. They contain resources as important as phytoplankton. This produces a huge chunk of the oxygen. Then there are huge whales that are amazing.
India has a long coastline of 7,517 km. It is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the western side and the Bay of Bengal on the Eastern side. The Indian Ocean rounds it up down the South. These are home to diverse marine life that are harbored in a wide range of ecosystems like mangroves, coral reefs, and estuaries. In the Bay of Bengal, we have the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These contain some of the major coral reefs as well as are a habitat for marine life like turtles.
In fact, the coast of Orissa or Odisha is the biggest nesting site for the Olive Ridley turtles across the globe. Several lakhs return every year to lay eggs. Other interesting and rare marine species found include tiger sharks, leatherback sea turtles, whale sharks, and blue whales and Bryde’s whales.
World Wildlife Day: Let’s Pledge to Cut Plastic Pollution
Oceans provide vast resources like crude oil, minerals including salt, manganese and nickel, and food. They have a big role in India’s culture and economy. But, of late, oceans are declining across the globe due to several reasons. Plastic pollution is a big challenge.
In 2018, a whale was found in Indonesia with more than 6 kg plastic in its system. Canadian scientists found evidence of plastic contaminants in bird eggs of the Arctic. They also found plastics at the deepest point of the planet: the Mariana Trench. There is a lot of plastic seen by the huge volume that washes up on the shores. Moreover, an increasing number of fishermen report plastics in their nets. Let’s make a fresh start and save our oceans this World Wildlife Day.
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