The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 is to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.”
70% of the earth is Blue, i.e. the oceans, and most of us are finding climate change solutions only on land. The ocean is the origin of all life on planet Earth. It is the largest ecosystem on the planet. Three out of every seven people in the world depend on seafood as their main source of protein. 44 per cent of the world’s population lives within 150 kilometres of the ocean. We need oceans for a lot of things. We need them to survive, and for that oceans need to be healthy
With habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution, the ocean is deteriorating, the species are going extinct. Everything is rapidly changing climate and leading to acidification of seawater, which is reducing the ability of the ocean to absorb carbon and to regulate global temperatures and local weather patterns.
Governments, businesses, communities, and youth are working towards the goal of healthy oceans.
Seafood is the most traded food product globally, and 3 billion people rely on seafood as their primary source of protein. In Hawaii, Conservation International is partnering with local communities, the state government and the private sector to integrate local and indigenous knowledge with science and technology to help people develop aquaculture ponds locally and sustainably.
Plastic alternatives and bioplastics can help solve plastic pollution in the oceans. In India, A company named Bakey’s is making edible spoons of different flavours like sweet, salty, savoury, and plain.
Scotland recently approved of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm. They use fewer materials than traditional offshore windmills that are stabilized in the seabed. Developing offshore wind can revitalize port communities and reduce ocean acidification and climate-related threats to marine life.
California’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation launched a breakthrough healthy soils initiative to reform how farm soil is managed to reduce fertilizer use, retain water, boost crops, and store more carbon. This effort could help reduce the harmful runoff pollution to the ocean from farms that cause massive ocean ‘dead zones.’
We can explore underwater environments with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) Researchers can use them to collect water and sediment samples, and use that data to analyze the impacts of climate change. This is way better than sending human divers to collect samples by risking their lives.
Drones are being used to access the impacts of climate change in the oceans. Using technologies like Bathymetric LiDAR, fluid lensing, multispectral imagery, and thermal sensors, photogrammetry, and more can be used to make 3D models of the ocean beds and coastlines. The 3D models can be used to study underwater life, beach erosion, They can also monitor aquatic life.
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning drones can also help us identify plastic pollution and plan efforts.
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About the author: Palak Kumar is an insatiably curious Mechanical Engineering student, passionate about flying, clouds, literature, and plants.