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Ocean Facts

Here are some informative resources about the state of our oceans. 

The ocean provides life for 97 percent of the Earth’s livable habitat and is home to more than 700,000 species.

Around 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean.

About 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine life in the ocean. There’s oxygen from ocean plants in every breath we take.

Unfortunately, in just 55 years humans have managed to wipe out 90% of the ocean’s top predators. These include sharks, bluefin tuna, swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel.

You may have heard people claim sharks are scary, but actually, sharks are only the cause of about 10 human deaths per year while humans are the cause of about 11,417 shark deaths per hour.

Around 73 million sharks are thrown back into the ocean each year with their fins cut off.

Sharks are definitely not the only species affected by fishing. All ocean life is affected by fishing. Even the ones we don’t eat. 308,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises die each year after becoming entangled in fishing equipment.

It’s estimated that for every 1 pound of shrimp on your dinner table, 26 pounds of other sea creatures were killed and tossed back into the sea, such as sea turtles. More than 50,000 sea turtles get caught in fishing nets meant to catch shrimp every year.

New research shows that industrial fisheries are responsible for dumping nearly 10 million tons of perfectly good fish back into the ocean each year—enough to fill 4,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The fishing of wild salmon impacts 137 species. Turtles, rays, dolphins, sharks, and endangered albatross often get caught when fishing for tuna. Beyond just fish, sea birds also get caught in fishing gear.

Longlines with baited hooks can extend up to 50 miles. These unintentionally attract and kill a huge range of sea mammals.

Research has shown fish feel pain and stress with a central nervous system like humans.

Even fish that are caught and thrown back into the water usually experience suffocation, sickness and internal injuries that often result in death.

Fish live in water that is so polluted, that when you eat seafood you’re ingesting this toxic brew—bacteria, contaminants, heavy metals, and much more.

Confining fish or marine mammals at aquariums or marine parks in small tanks that restrict their movement for human entertainment can cause them harm. Fish and other aquatic animals which would swim many miles a day in the wild, are typically confined in small spaces and suffer from stress, deficient diets, disease, and a cramped and unbalanced environment. Wild orcas and dolphins, for example, usually live in large social groups and swim vast distances in the ocean. In captivity, these animals can only swim in endless circles in their tanks and are denied the opportunity to engage in any natural behavior.

 Keeping fish in fish tanks at home isn’t good for them either: many of them are doomed to live in plastic bags or tiny glass bowls, neither of which provides the space or oxygen that goldfish need.