An Ocean Apart

Say hello to our fishy friends! This pair, constructed from thousands of disused plastic bottles on Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro, has been dominating the blogosphere of late – an apt visual symbol for just one of the topics on the table at the recent Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Sustainable use of our ocean resources – which is an issue of growing importance all over the world, from our Great Barrier Reef to the catcheries of South America – was one of seven critical issues discussed by world leaders at the Summit, alongside efforts to reduce poverty, enhance social equity and environmental protection policies. While the outcome of the summit is yet to be seen, at least it brought these issues out of the murky depths and into the spotlight.

When you consider that just 25 countries control over 75% of the world’s marine catch, implementing practical policies to secure marine biodiversity, habitat protection and sustainable fishing practices is of obvious importance, especially since our oceans are so vital to the wider scheme of guaranteeing sustainable food production for the world’s growing population. Its a complex issue, which is why we love to see simple campaigns that illustrate the facts in a way we can all understand. Just like the fish sculptures in Rio, this illustration from draws attention to the vicious cycle of ocean pollution and, shockingly, just how much of our own refuse we consume when we dispose of plastic waste incorrectly.

Ocean of Garbage
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