World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day Quick Facts - ZA

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2024 Date8 June 2024
2025 Date8 June 2025

World Oceans Day

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World Oceans Day is a global celebration held annually, focusing on the extraordinary importance of our planet's vast oceans. The purpose of this day is to honor, protect, and conserve the abundant resources offered by the oceans, while raising awareness about the crucial role they play in providing food, maintaining the earth's climate, and supporting a diverse array of marine life. This observance presents an opportunity for individuals, communities, and businesses to come together and take collective action towards a more sustainable future, ensuring the health of our oceans for generations to come.

Having a rich maritime history and a coastline spanning more than 2,500 kilometers along the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans, South Africa has a strong connection with the oceanic environment. World Oceans Day is particularly significant to South Africans as their oceans are a vital source of economic growth, sustenance, and ecological diversity. The creation of this observance dates back to 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, however, it was not until 2008 that the United Nations officially recognized it. South Africans can use World Oceans Day as an opportunity to celebrate the striking beauty of their surrounding marine ecosystems, fueling a passion for ocean conservation within their communities.

World Oceans Day is typically observed in South Africa through various events which include beach clean-ups, public awareness campaigns, and educational workshops that promote sustainable maritime practices. These activities engage citizens, particularly the youth, in taking proactive steps toward safeguarding the oceans, their biodiversity, and the resources they provide. Moreover, they encourage participation in ocean-related recreational activities such as surfing, scuba diving, and marine life observation tours, spreading appreciation for the oceans' delicate balance across the nation. World Oceans Day takes place annually on June 8th and encourages South Africans to contribute to the global efforts in securing the future of our remarkable marine environments.

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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.
  • The point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet is located near the famous Cape Agulhas, which is the southernmost point of the African continent. This meeting point is known for its unpredictable weather conditions, strong winds, and powerful waves.
  • The cold Benguela Current runs along South Africa's west coast, bringing nutrient-rich waters that support a large number of fish species and birdlife, making it an important region for commercial fishing and for wildlife watchers.

Top things to do in South Africa 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.
  • Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, as they host special events and educational programs for World Oceans Day. They often have activities like workshops, informative presentations, and guest speakers discussing ocean conservation and marine life.
  • Take a guided marine ecology tour for World Oceans Day. Several coastal areas in South Africa offer guided marine ecotours, where you can learn about the ocean ecosystem, conservation efforts, and the diverse species inhabiting the waters.

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