Every year, on June 8, International Oceans Day is celebrated to celebrate this wonderful habitat. This day is a wonderful opportunity to meet researchers at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University, to learn from them about the processes that take place in the oceans, the ways in which these processes occur and how each of us can contribute to help.
The oceans cover most of the earth’s surface, and are a crucial factor in determining the climate, wind and rain regime and the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. The sea and its shores are an important tier in human culture, and they inhabit spectacular and fascinating ecosystems, such as the coral reefs, seaweed forests and glacial fields.
For centuries the sea was perceived as such a vast habitat that the thought that man could influence it and life in it seemed ridiculous. The amount of fish in the sea seemed endless, as did the amount of waste that could be thrown away. The last few decades have presented us with a disturbing and different picture. We are witnessing a cross-ocean phenomenon of fish depletion, resulting from overfishing and damage to marine habitats. Plastics, petroleum, antibiotics and other drugs as well as other substances that reach the oceans harm the diversity of species living in the sea. Global warming and human intervention have accelerated processes of migration and invasion of new species, often inviting unwanted species to us. Awareness and interest in these processes have recently crossed the boundaries of scientific discourse thanks to films like Seaspiracy and A Life On Our Planet.