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On the 8th of June we celebrate the World Oceans Day, a day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. Some of you might think that the world currently has more pressing urgencies than worrying about the health of our oceans, but even at times of a health crisis and protests the ocean is setting an example. The oceans are an incredible reservoir of new compounds that have led to the development of new antibacterial and antiviral treatments. Even the test used for the detection of COVID-19 relies on enzymes that were first discovered in deep-sea bacteria back in 1969. The most successful conservation projects are the results of communities standing by each other and working towards a common goal of improving livelihoods and protecting ecosystems.
The theme of the UN World Oceans Day 2020 is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”. The oceans are currently suffering from the combined effects of the climate crisis, overfishing, and habitat degradation. As the challenges to the ocean continue to grow, so does the need for novel solutions and the people driving them. At times, the information relating to the current state of the oceans (think coral bleaching, endangered species, mangrove deforestation) can be overwhelming, and downright depressing. What we all need right now is some #oceanoptimism to remind ourselves that there is hope of positive change, which is why we have chosen 5 inspiring marine conservation success stories that highlight projects that have made a difference.