Marine scientists from the University of Plymouth have contributed to a new international report calling for an urgent change in the way we think and talk about the ocean in a post-COVID world.
Published in the journal Aquatic Conservation, the study breaks new ground in recognising how an effective use of language can change the trajectory of ocean decline and says a rethink is both essential and timely in order to improve understanding and action.
Providing recommendations for decision makers, scientists and NGOs it makes six, scientifically-informed points which everyone should understand and act on.
The authors include Professor of Marine Biology Jason Hall-Spencer and Professor of Oceanography Philip (Chris) Reid, who were also part of research published in 2019 which highlighted urgent action needed to head off potential ecological disaster in the global ocean.
This new report points to the absence of consideration of the ocean in most discussions prior to the pandemic. Post-COVID, the global-scale policy changes needed will not be forthcoming without an improved understanding and articulation of the role of the ocean in our lives.
It also adds that although the health of the ocean is deteriorating swiftly and to the detriment of humankind, very little is being done to address the situation.
The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) authors hope that improving knowledge about the role of the ocean in our lives – something, for example, which is not featured in many school curricula – will increase the attention paid to the ocean and the urgency with which action is taken.