WORLD OCEANS DAY 2020

Amy Perold
8 June 2020

Since 2002 on June 8th World Oceans Day has been celebrating the ocean and its wonders. Covid-19 and social distancing may be changing how we recognize our blue planet this year, the need for action is perhaps more important than ever.

This year World Oceans Day is growing the global movement to call on world leaders to protect 30% of the world's ocean by 2030 - a campaign called 30x30. By safeguarding a least 30% of our ocean through a network of highly protected areas we can help ensure a healthy home for both marine and human life.

This year for World oceans day Natures Valley Trust Marine Team is highlighting 5 interesting creatures found deep in our oceans.

1. Abalone

Abalone, also know as perlemoen in South Africa, are large sea snails. They have no brains, but their decentralised nervous system allows them to use thousands of sensors to detect predators and plan escape routes.

perlemoen2Source: C. Foster

2. Enypniastes

They look like jellyfish, but they are free-swimming deep-sea sea cucumbers. They are rarely seen but inhabit all oceans. They live on the seafloor where they filter the sediment but can swim over a kilometre upwards to catch a ride in the current to a new area.

235

Source: NOAA Okeanos Explorer

3. Krill

Krill is the common name for the multitude of tiny crustaceans in the family Euphausiacea that are common in all the oceans of the world. One species alone, Antarctic krill, is estimated to have more than 700 trillion individuals, weighing 380 billion tonnes, more than any other wild animal!

krill

Source: MAR-ECO

4. Dugongs

Dugongs are unique ocean mammals, closely related to manatees. They inhabit the east coast of Africa as well as the Indo-Pacific island coasts. A 5000-year-old cave painting in Malaysia shows a dugong, making it the most ancient sea mammal known to be hunted by humans. Sailors once believed that the underwater herbivores were mermaids’ half-human half-fish. Dugongs are completely unique and unlike dolphins and whales they are grazers that mow the seagrass fields of Mozambique's shallow coastal bays.

dugong2

Source: J. Willem

5. Physonect Siphonophores

"Physonect" means "a colony of animals on a string", and siphonophores are specialised jellyfish. These colonies of tiny animals called zooids are complex, some take up the task of inflating so the colony can float, some catch food and others digest it for the colony to share.

phys

Source: NOAA

The ocean is a host to various interesting creatures, and it is essential we work to protect the ocean to ensure a healthy home for both marine and human life. With the special emphasis on digital, the World Oceans Day has created social media hashtags of #WorldOceansDay and #ProtectOurHome. Added to this are the online petition signing for the preservation of 30% of the planet, and the World Oceans Day social media assets. All resources are available for the global network to shine the spotlight on the ocean.

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