We owe every second breath to the ocean, and at the same time it absorbs a third of the CO₂ we emit. This shows how important it is for our survival.
Blue Carbon – The ocean our best friend
Blue carbon, what is it actually?
It is the carbon that is stored in the ocean and in coastal ecosystems. Mangroves and seagrass meadows, but also large sea creatures such as whales and sharks, ensure that the ocean ecosystem is the world's number one carbon store. There are various examples of this. For example, it absorbs about one third of the CO₂ that we emit. In addition, marine organisms store over half of the biologically bound carbon. But also the facts that mangrove forests store 4x more carbon per hectare than rainforests or that whales bind millions of tonnes of carbon every year make it clear how important the ocean and its inhabitants are for our global climate.
For all this, however, we need a healthy ocean teeming with life. The massive removal of marine life by fisheries or the man-made loss of mangroves or seagrass beds endanger not only the ecosystem itself, but ultimately our survival. This means that species conservation and marine ecosystem protection are essential and go hand in hand when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. Contrary to these findings, marine habitats still hardly play a role when it comes to climate policy.
For this reason, we at Sharkproject support this issue on a national and international level by supporting campaigns of partners or co-signing letters to governments. One example is the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), which wrote an open letter with demands to the politicians, which we signed together with many other partners. In addition to such open letters, we try to focus on and inform about the issue through coordinated actions via social media or other media.
These are the demands on policymakers:
- Recognize the critical importance of the ocean and blue carbon in the fight against climate emergency.
- Include specific, legally binding targets for the protection and restoration of areas where blue carbon occurs in national plans for the implementation of climate change targets (Nationally Determined Contributions)
- Commit to the 30x30 Ocean Protection Plan and protect 30% of the ocean in the form of ecologically representative marine protected areas by 2030
- Agreement on an international moratorium on deep-sea mining to protect the deep sea from irreversible, large-scale damage.
- The ocean absorbs about one third of the CO₂ we emit.
- Marine organisms store over 50 % of the biologically bound carbon.
- Every 30 minutes, we lose a seagrass meadow the size of a football field. This releases about 299 million tonnes of carbon every year. The loss of coastal wetlands raises the figure to about 450 million tonnes.
- Mangrove forests store 4x more carbon per hectare than rainforests.
- Studies recently showed that large sea creatures, such as whales, sequester up to 30,000 kg of carbon from the atmosphere during their lifetime. This largely sinks to the bottom of the sea when the animals die and is stored in the sediments.
- For this issue, we cooperate with many national and international marine and species conservation organizations.
Co-signing open letter and decision-makers in the international community
ongoing social media campaign