Biodiversity: How can we protect our oceans?

The oceans are the lungs of humanity. And for good reason, they produce 70% of the oxygen we breathe. However, today they are under threat. The main reason is global warming. To cope with rising temperatures, the oceans are storing more and more carbon. Then we talk about ocean acidification. For clams, oysters or corals, the consequences are dire. Due to the rise in temperature, they face difficulties in building their body out of limestone. According to the Coral Reef Observatory (GCRN), 14% of the planet’s corals have disappeared since 2019. But, according to Françoise Guy, vice president of the Oceans and Climate platform, we should not lose hope just yet: them in other places more suitable for their physiology. The distribution of fish is also affected by warming water. According to Clara Ulrich, Associate Scientific Director of Ifremer, some species are no longer able to breed in the natural environment: “We have fish that are becoming increasingly rare in our fisheries. This is especially true for cod.” Finally, warming waters also have consequences for sea levels: as the temperature rises, water expands, which means that its volume increases.

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Consequences of human activity

Plastic pollution, which is said to kill 100,000 marine mammals every year, is the bane of the ocean. According to Françoise Guy, this threat is constant. “It is the smallness, the fragmentation of these plastics, that can be the most detrimental, the most dangerous for marine animals,” the scientist explains. “All those who absorb water through the gills can be weighed down by these particles and can suffocate.” Overfishing also negatively affects marine biodiversity. In France, 27% of fish comes from overfished stocks. Among the species under consideration are the Bay of Biscay sardine or sole.

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What can we do to protect our oceans?

Despite all these troubling findings, the situation of our oceans barely participated in the presidential elections, despite the hosting of the “Single Ocean” summit last February, an international summit in which states committed to signing an agreement against plastic pollution. From the side of applicants for the Elysee Palace, proposals are rarely received. Valerie Pekress says she wants to stop having plastic surgery. The same observation from Fabien Roussel, who wants to develop a plan for the fight. In the meantime, Yannick Jadot plans to limit the amount of fish caught.

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Do you know the history of the presidential elections in France? To find out, test your knowledge with our General Culture Quiz: ⋙ Political Quiz: Do you know the history of presidential elections?

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