World Oceans Day 2024 - Awaken New Depths

The United Nations (UN) celebrates World Oceans Day annually on 8 June as an opportunity to raise global awareness of the benefits humankind derives from the ocean and our individual and collective duty to use its resources sustainably. A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. 

“Awaken New Depths” is the theme for World Oceans Day 2024. According to the official World Oceans Day website, the UN is joining forces with decision-makers, indigenous leaders, scientists, private sector executives, civil society, celebrities, and youth activists to showcase how our relationship with the ocean needs to urgently change since our efforts to date have only skimmed the surface. To motivate widespread momentum for the ocean, we need to awaken new depths.

In recognition of World Oceans Day 2024, Professor Maximo Q. Mejia, Jr., President of the World Maritime University (WMU) provided the following message:

“On World Oceans Day, we celebrate the magnificent expanses of blue that cover over 70% of our planet. The oceans are teeming with diverse ecosystems that sustain millions of species, including our own. They regulate our climate, produce more than half of the oxygen we breathe, and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people. 

This year’s theme, Awaken New Depths, highlights that there is so much more to explore and understand about our oceans and the profound impact they have on our lives and the planet. We must safeguard this blue heart of our home planet. By embracing the spirit of responsible and sustainable exploration and stewardship, we will increase our understanding of the vast potential of our oceans, ensuring they remain vibrant and life-sustaining for generations to come.”

Since its founding, WMU has contributed to sustainable use of the oceans by focusing on the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments to reduce accidents and ship-source pollution. Building on this strong foundation, ocean-related matters have become part of WMU’s mandate and are incorporated across all degree programmes. In addition, the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute carries out specialized research on ocean-related topics, and WMU faculty are contributing impactful research. Recent highlights include research on deep-water sharks, on the effects of climate change on marine organisms, and cross-disciplinary collaboration on the future of shipping at the biodiversity and climate nexus.

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