The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) reaffirmed its commitment to continue advocating for a healthy Pacific Ocean to commemorate World Oceans Day today, which was celebrated with a theme of healthy oceans, healthy planet on the 8 of June, 2016.

“The oceans hold a cultural significance and inspiration to the people of the Pacific who have long relied on the ocean for the various journeys that have been undertaken and on healthy oceans as a vital source of sustainable food source’’, said PIDF Secretary General, François Martel.

“The PIDF is fully committed to continue our advocacy efforts to promote healthy oceans which in turn will result in healthy nations, also the theme for this year’s PIDF Leaders’ Summit which will be held next month in the Solomon Islands,” further added Secretary General Martel.

Healthy oceans play a key role in our daily lives and are integral to sustainable development and an important frontier for research. People living in Small Island countries rely on healthy oceans for feeding their families and providing income, more so than in any other parts of the world. It is difficult to over-state their importance but these marine resources are under threat, from climate change, pollution and over-fishing, with more than 786,000 tonnes of fish taken illegally from the Pacific every year.

There are many activities that can be done like being cautious on your carbon footprint and reducing energy consumption, making safe, sustainable seafood choices, using fewer or no plastic products, pledging support to organisations that work to protect the ocean, influencing change in your communities and not purchasing items that exploit marine life.

World Oceans Day is an annual observation to honour the world’s oceans, celebrate the products the ocean provides, and consider its important role as climate regulator and to appreciate its own intrinsic value. Global pollution and over-consumption of fish have resulted in drastically dwindling population of the majority of marine species and endanger several. Actions are needed now and in the future. Thus, World Oceans Day also provides a unique opportunity to take personal and community action to conserve the ocean and its resources.