From the indigenous communities on the Miskito Coast of Honduras to the communities of northern Mozambique, FHI 360 programs are making an impact on the health of our oceans and the humans who depend on them. FHI 360 joins in the celebration of this year’s World Oceans Day on June 8 — an event first recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008. On this day, oceans are celebrated as vital lifelines of communities around the world. Oceans are essential to food, security and other economic activities totaling nearly US$215 billion. The planet’s oceans affect the health of people worldwide, our ecosystems and the air we breathe. FHI 360 is a part of this complex but thriving environment by managing a sustainable fisheries program on three continents, known as the Global FISH Alliance (G-FISH).
“World Oceans Day recognizes that the ocean is the living link between humankind and the Earth,” says Jimmy Andino, Spiny Lobster Initiative Chief of Party, G-FISH in Honduras. “The ocean provides the perfect conditions so life on Earth can be possible. The ocean provides livelihoods for millions, shelter and breeding grounds for vast marine biodiversity and is responsible for regulating global atmospheric conditions on the planet. As dwellers of a living planet, we deserve a living ocean. It is our responsibility to protect and use it sustainably.”
In Honduras, local nongovernmental organization managers of marine-protected areas join with the government’s Environment Office to celebrate this day. Festivities and campaigns will take place in communities throughout the country to create awareness about protecting and respecting the ocean as a living ecosystem.
At FHI 360, we take creative approaches to maintain awareness of the importance of our oceans. Public and private partnerships in the United States and internationally are working to keep these important efforts moving forward. For instance, G-FISH conducts the awareness campaign, Know Your Source, to highlight the importance of understanding where and how food is sourced. It encourages all parties on the demand side — from buyers to consumers — to ask about the source of their fish.
Although World Oceans Day is one day in June, FHI 360 continues to work on these important issues every day.