The day aims to honour the oceans and raise awareness about the challenges they face including pollution and climate change.
World Oceans Day: UK joins fight against plastic pollution with nationwide events

The UK is joining the global fight against plastic pollution by marking World Oceans Day in a bid to raise awareness about protecting and conserving the seas.

Events are held on 8 June in an annual observation to honour the world's oceans, which provide the earth with many resources including oxygen, climate regulation, food sources, medicine and more.

However the oceans and marine life, such as corals and important fisheries are under threat due to a number of challenges they face including plastic pollution and overfishing.

In London, the day is being marked in a variety of ways, with a full day of performances, workshops and talks focusing on the importance of saving the world's oceans at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

There will be a pop-up exhibition in Soho, central London, by the Project O initiative as part of Soho Music Month, as well as an opportunity to dress up in blue at a Greenpeace "human wave" from Westminster Bridge to the Foreign Office.

Elsewhere, one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions, Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, is hosting a weekend of ocean-themed activities involving an opportunity to take part in a large-scale art project.

In Cardiff, Greenpeace are inviting the public to dress up as penguins on Queen Street in a campaign to help protect the oceans and Antarctica.

The United Nation's World Oceans Day designated theme this year is "Gender and Oceans", to highlight the significance of gender equality in the effectiveness of conserving the planet's oceans, seas and marine life.

The day is being used to publicise the progress of gender equality in ocean-related areas including marine scientific research and policy-making.

There has been a concerted effort to promote World Oceans Day since 2002 and is viewed as a special opportunity to celebrate the ocean and make a real difference in protecting it.

In 2009, on the first United Nations International Day for World Oceans Day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said the day was an opportunity to "recognise the considerable challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation".

Ban Ki-moon went on to say that human activities are "taking a terrible toll on the oceans and seas" including unreported and unregulated fishing and increasing sea temperatures from climate change.

Last month, it was reported that climate change could be the reason why thousands of tufted puffins have starved to death in the Bering Sea.

Earlier this year, diver Rich Horner, who lives in Bali, sparked an international conversation about plastics in the ocean, after a video taken during a swim went viral.

He said the effect of plastics on marine life is "horrific", telling Sky News: "The mixture of the stuff you see is just crazy. General household stuff is there, baskets and buckets, but always you get a lot of plastic bags and food wrappers, but not as many water bottles as you would think. They get picked up in Indonesia, because they get recycled."



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