5 Facts – World Oceans Day

Satellite image of the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast

Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of World Oceans Day. It follows the 2008 declaration by the United Nations General Assembly that, as of 2009, June 8 would be designated World Oceans Day. Here are five facts about the ocean:

  1. Around 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans. They are home to an estimated 50-80 per cent of all life on earth.
  2. The largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef, which spans 1,600 miles off the east coast of Australia. It is so large that it can be seen from space.
  3. The largest ocean is the Pacific Ocean, which covers around 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface. The deepest known area of the Earth’s oceans, the 36,000-foot Mariana Trench, is located  in the western Pacific Ocean.
  4. The Caribbean’s greatest depth is called the Cayman Trench, between Cuba and Jamaica. It is about 25,216 feet below sea level.
  5. Marine pollution has damaged or destroyed swathes of ocean life. Among the sources of marine pollution are: agricultural practices, coastal tourism, port and harbour developments, damming of rivers, urban development and construction, mining, fisheries, aquaculture and manufacturing.

Click here for more facts about the ocean from UNESCO.