Oceans of fantasy

  • 30/03/1999

Oceans of fantasy Oceans. The first thoughts that strike the mind are of vastness, depth, large expanses of blue-green water, aquatic life, hidden treasures and waves lapping the shores.

Think some more and the realisation may dawn that we do not really appreciate all the services that they provide. Rich in marine flora and fauna, oceans stabilise the climate; link people and trade; provide people with food, water, energy and also fill in as a source of livelihood for millions. But the tranquillity of the oceans now stands disturbed. The human race has managed to threaten a total volume of 1,348 million cubic kilometres of ocean water. Various activities, such as dumping of toxic wastes, have polluted the oceans.

Recognising the importance of oceans for planetary survival, the Independent World Commission on the Oceans was set up by the United Nations in 1995 to review the existing status of oceans and to identify future problems. The book, a report of the commission, highlights six main issues