Oceans have suffered due to overfishing, pollution, plastic, coastal erosion and many other factors. A new study has outlined the steps we can take to save oceans and help them recover from damage by 2050.

The study suggests that we have the knowledge to help oceans resolve and restore from human-centric activities. Humans rely heavily on oceans for so many things, it’s important to protect the source of food, climate stability and coastal protection. So what actions can we take to protect the oceans?

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We can help protect the oceans by protecting essential ocean services. According to the study, we must regulate fishing and hunting, continue habitat restoration, stop ocean pollution and make decisions that lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists have already seen signs of recovery in oceans. They argue that we can use existing recovery as guidelines to continue with a goal of doubling conservation efforts already in place. Whale populations have grown from the brink of extinction, oyster beds have increased and awareness of habitat destruction has led to a reduction in places like the Philippines.

University of Queensland scientist Professor Catherine Lovelock and author of the study told Science Daily, “People depend on the oceans and coastal ecosystems as a source of food, livelihoods, carbon capture and, thanks to coral reefs, mangroves and other coastal ecosystems, for protection from storms. But people are having enormous impacts globally and it’s time to do what we must to ensure our oceans are healthy and vibrant for generations to come. Despite humanity having greatly distorted our oceans, recent interventions have led to a number of remarkable success stories.”

By doubling down on conservation efforts, we have a chance of ocean restoration and maintaining its essential place in our earth for generations. Read about climate change harming marine life, including the mystery of dead birds across Alaska, turtles in Cape Cod Bay, acidification of Dungeness crabslobsters off the coast of New England and whales in the Gulf of Maine.

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There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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