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This content is taken from the University of York's online course, Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Welcome to the second week of our course on tackling environmental challenges. This week we explore the oceans, and discuss why they need protecting. It is for good reason that the world we live on is sometimes called the Blue Planet – water covers 70% of the surface of the Earth. This vast space acts as the lungs of our world, providing over half of the oxygen we breathe. It also regulates our climate, absorbing over 90% of the heat that enters the atmosphere. Without the ocean, this planet would not be habitable. That’s not to mention the seafood that supplies billions of people with their daily protein needs, or the countless people who flock to the seaside for their holidays every year.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds For many of us, trips to the beach have provided our happiest memories. However, this precious place is under threat. Industrial scale and at times illegal fishing mean that over a third of the world’s fish stocks are over-exploited, with most of the largest individuals long gone. Destructive fishing methods and incidental catch of non-target species is further damaging marine ecosystems. Meanwhile pollution from both chemicals and plastics is poisoning and choking our waterways. That’s not to even mention the increasing threat from climate change. We will explore all of these issues, getting to the facts beneath the headlines.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds But we will also look at solutions – how your seafood choices can help to better manage fisheries, why you really should steer away from single-use plastic, and how if we all take responsibility for our actions our Blue Planet will have a brighter future.

Welcome to Week 2

In this video, Dr Bryce Stewart introduces the second week of the course, Protecting Our Oceans.

Why do our oceans need protecting, and what can be done to protect them?

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This video is from the free online course:

Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future

University of York