World Oceans Day: Protecting Our Seas for a Sustainable Future

World Oceans Day is June 8th, and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the oceans and how to protect them.

Did you know that, while the oceans cover about 70% of the world’s surface area and provide more than 90% of the living space on our planet, we know very little about them? In fact, we have explored more of planet Mars than our ocean floors. Whilst there are some very valid reasons for our lack of collective knowledge about the deep seas (it’s not an environment made for humans by any means), it is also a great shame, as the oceans hold the key for the solution to some of the biggest issues we are currently facing as a society: Tiny algae called phytoplankton produce more oxygen than rain forests, and healthy marine ecosystems can store enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. Not to mention the millions of livelihoods depending on the oceans as their source of income or food.




Our oceans are dying before we can discover their secrets


It is a sad fact, but human activity is currently destroying our oceans before we have even had a chance to really explore them!

This is hardly news, and if you care in the slightest bit about the sea (and you probably wouldn’t have ended up here if you didn’t), you are most likely aware of it already. Entire fish populations have been depleted, coral reefs and their unmatched biodiversity are dying, there is more plastic than fish in the sea, polar ice caps are melting, big ocean currents regulating the global climate are starting to change course, and the foundations for the food webs ultimately feeding us are collapsing at an increasingly worrying pace.

The tragic list is endless, and you could fill entire books and websites with the reasons and consequences. If you are interested to learn more, the World Oceans Day website by the United Nations is a great place to start.



Why do we care, and why should we?


Really, the question should be – why would anybody not care, given the importance of healthy oceans to the overall state of our planet (see above)? However, for us the answer to this question is more personal than that. All of us here at Quaystage are or once were sailors, spending a major part of their lives at sea. And when you are out on deck of a vessel all day (and night), fall asleep to the rocking motion of the waves, and wake up to the most breathtaking sunrises anyone could ever imagine, the ocean becomes your home. The seabirds and dolphins travelling with your boat become your company. And when you’re fighting the elements in a storm, soaked from the rain and the waves crashing on deck, just about able to pull the ropes with the combined strength of your entire crew, you learn to respect the ocean for what it is – a force of nature not to be provoked.

And this is what we try to pass on to the young people sailing with us*: A love for the ocean, its inhabitants and delicate ecosystems, and an appreciation for how they impact our lives – whether we live them at sea or far from the shore. After all, you care about the things you know, you protect the things you love and care about, and it is their generation who will play a key role in saving our oceans (and the rest of our planet).

*(The bit about the force of nature we do not teach so much through direct experience, so please don’t worry. Our skippers monitor weather forecasts very carefully and take cover when conditions get unpleasant.)


Teenagers learning about marine science on board a yacht


Education and hope are key to the solution


At Quaystage, we firmly believe in the power of education and hope to change the world. Education, because you need to know what you are fighting against – and what you are fighting for. And hope, because burying your head in the sand isn’t going to solve anything.

So, we do our part in our collective fight to save the oceans, the part that we know best: We help to educate the next generation, teach them to love the sea, teach them to live with it with as little impact as possible, leave nothing behind but footprints, and remove some of the litter we find along the way.

And we want to leave you with a sense of hope, too, because there is every reason for it.

Scientists are teaming up with the public to monitor and protect the remaining corals reefs.

Inventive minds are finding ways to remove and recycle the plastic from our oceans.

Local organizations are fighting for clear waters at our own shores.

And young people around the world are teaming up to solve the ocean crisis together.


Let’s go and join them and raise awareness of our World Oceans everyday, not just on 8th June!


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