World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day Quick Facts - NZ

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2024 Date8 June 2024
2025 Date8 June 2025

World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day in
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World Oceans Day History

World Oceans Day is an annual global event that highlights the significance of our oceans and raises awareness about their conservation. The day focuses on promoting sustainable practices, safeguarding marine habitats, and addressing the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. Communities around the globe take this opportunity to celebrate the essential role oceans play in our lives, from providing oxygen and regulating the climate to supporting a vast array of marine species and serving as a source of food, employment, and recreation for billions of people.

The idea of celebrating World Oceans Day dates back to 1992, when it was first proposed during the Earth Summit in Brazil. New Zealand shares a special bond with the ocean, with its coastline stretching over 15,000 kilometres, offering a diverse range of marine habitats and a rich marine biodiversity. The island nation has a crucial role in maintaining the health of the oceans, safeguarding its vast marine resources, and ensuring the protection of its waters for future generations.

During World Oceans Day in New Zealand, various activities and events take place across the country, including beach cleanups, educational workshops, and presentations by experts to encourage awareness and conservation of marine environments. These events often involve local communities, schools, and environmental organizations, bringing people together to appreciate and protect the oceanic wonders surrounding them. World Oceans Day is observed on the 8th of June, providing an opportunity for New Zealanders to join the global movement and take responsibility for preserving the oceans, which are an invaluable part of the country's natural heritage.

World Oceans Day facts

  • The world's oceans have a combined area of approximately 361 million square kilometers (139 million square miles). The Pacific Ocean is the largest and covers about 63 million square miles (165 million square kilometers).
  • The average depth of the world's oceans is about 3,800 meters (12,467 feet). The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, reaching a depth of about 10,928 meters (35,856 feet).
  • It is estimated that approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year.
  • New Zealand was the first country in the world to establish an Interesting Marine Mammal Sanctuary. In 1988, the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary was established to protect the endangered Hector's dolphin, the world's smallest and rarest marine dolphin.
  • New Zealand is bordered by the Tasman Sea to the west and the Southern Ocean to the south. The Tasman Sea separates New Zealand from Australia, while the Southern Ocean is considered the southernmost part of the world's ocean system.

Top things to do in NZ for World Oceans Day

  • If you live near an ocean, spend time swimming in the water, sailing, surfing or just walking along the beach. If you don't live near an ocean, plan a trip to enjoy ocean.
  • Get your scuba diving license. Every city offers scuba lessons to prepare you see the underwater world. PADI and SDI are two well-known and reputable companies that offer certification courses. You cannot scuba dive without certification.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about marine life in New Zealand. Here are our top picks:
    1. New Zealand's Wild Islands (2020) - The documentary series accompanies host Ian Wright and a team of underwater specialists as they explore the waters around New Zealand's remote wild islands.
    2. Ghost Fishing: New Zealand (2017) - This short film highlights the efforts of a group of volunteer divers who work to stop the marine waste epidemic by removing discarded fishing gear from New Zealand's ocean.
    3. Sealion - The Return of the Hooker's Sealion (2018) - A documentary that follows the Hooker's Sealions as they return to New Zealand's mainland shores after decades of breeding on the sub-Antarctic islands.
  • Explore New Zealand's numerous marine reserves, such as Goat Island Marine Reserve near Leigh, or the Kapiti Marine Reserve near Wellington, where you can snorkel, kayak, or take a glass-bottomed boat to observe the diverse marine life.

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