Only 3% of our oceans are protected areas called marine reserves.
Have you ever thought of what a big deal the ocean is? It provides us with protein-rich food and with most of the oxygen we breathe. The ocean is also home to 80% of all life on earth. We MUST think of ways to use the ocean without using it up because our lives depend on a healthy ocean.
A marine reserve is a protected area in the sea. It is fully protected from any activities that remove animals or plants from the sea and are often called 'no-take' marine protected areas. In these regions no fishing or mining is allowed, although swimming and scuba diving are usually acceptable. Marine reserves can increase the diversity, body size and breeding of ocean species. Although 12% of land area is already protected in this way, only 3% of all oceans are being conserved.
The good news is that presidents from countries all over the world declare some of their country's ocean areas as marine reserve. Those areas will be entirely protected from fishing and other industries. When oceans are protected healthy ecosystems with a rich biodiversity can redevelop.
You can tell how healthy an ocean ecosystem is by the amount of predator fish like sharks there are. Can you figure out why those fish are so important for an ecosystem? And how they can bring money to a country to replace income from fishing?
What you can do
You can help guard the ocean by recycling, and by not littering. When we don’t put our trash in the proper place, it often ends up in storm drains, rivers and streams which carry the trash directly to the ocean.
By Eloise Kruger (Whyzz writer)