WORLD OCEAN DAY

Celebrating World Ocean Day 2022

Photo: K. Troim/Unsplash

On June 8 we celebrate World Ocean Day by highlighting our research and policy work on marine issues

Story highlights

• World Ocean Day 2022 is celebrated under the slogan: “Revitalization, Collective Action for the Ocean”

• The centre’s marine research and policy work has always been relevant and recently it has become an even more important topic area

• 2022 is critical for the ocean, with the UN Ocean Conference happening in late June and several other key intergovernmental processes unfolding

To create a healthy and resilient ocean with abundant wildlife and to stabilize the climate, it’s critical that 30% of our planet’s lands, waters, and ocean are protected by 2030. This is the "30:30 goal" which is part of the main message of the 2022 World Ocean Day, and celebrated under the theme “Revitalization, Collective Action for the Ocean”.

The World Ocean Day was launched in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Today, thirty years later it emphasizes that a healthy ocean is critical for the solution to both the climate and biodiversity crises.

Marine research is therefore more topical than ever. We are in the beginning of the UN Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and later this summer (27 June – 1 July), the second UN Ocean Conference will finally take place after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We find ourselves in a new phase in humanity’s use of the ocean, dubbed the ‘Blue Acceleration,’ that is rapidly transforming the ocean and having major economic, social and ecological consequences.

Albert Norström, centre researcher

Research areas covered

Centre researchers have studied this acceleration of human pressure on the world’s ocean and concluded that it started to accelerate sharply at the start of the 21st century and shows no sign of slowing. Without a change of course, there is a clear danger of accelerating harm to the ocean and increasing levels of inequality in the communities that depend on it.

One innovative way of contributing to the solution to this is the centre’s work with the SeaBOS initiative, which brings the biggest companies within wild fisheries and aquaculture together with scientific expertise.

The ocean has always played a key role in the centre’s research: from studies in the tropics on the future for coral reefs all the way to several ongoing projects in the Arctic Ocean, and covering topics from ocean equity and ocean risks to ocean futures.

We have so many excellent people working on both the theoretical and practical development of our research. This helps us push the marine science forward to new levels.

Centre ocean theme leader Susa Niiranen

Highlights

Some recent highlights from the ocean theme, and other centre related work on marine issues, include:

• We recently hosted a half-day seminar on ocean sustainability in the presence of representatives from the royal families from Sweden and Norway.

• A new study investigating the barriers and bridges to sustainability certifications on the Japanese seafood market.

• Research highlighting that seaweed farming can replace food with large carbon footprints, but has limited potential to sequester carbon dioxide on a large scale.

• More efficient seafood supply chains can boost access to, and human consumption of, omega-3 with as much as 50%.

• A recent update of the planetary boundary for novel entities, and in particular marine plastic pollution, showing that it has now been exceeded.

• We contributed to the Blue Food Assessment, an international joint initiative bringing together over 100 scientists from more than 25 institutions.

Published: 2022-06-07