“Beautiful, mysterious, wild and free,” the waters of a vast, stretch blue land it is. The seas are everything we want to be. We want to be beautiful like its threads, shifting from deep blue to pale green. We want to be mysterious, like the life that lives beneath, secluded in the shade of beauty. We want to be wild, like the hurricanes and tsunamis which oscillate on its surface. And we want to be free, like its endless boundaries and free will to flow anywhere. The oceans appear both instruments to blow in calmness and a sword to teach those who exploit it. The waters in it, which go down to the unknown lands of the earth, have always stood firm, resisting heaps of obstructions floating on its surface. The storms, the cyclones, the tsunamis, the typhoons were created by it, not for destruction but as an answer to those who took it for granted. It is nature’s mighty weapon, but it was never bound to be one, only if we had stopped using it for our benefit. 

We should congratulate ourselves, for we achieved modernisation. But, the question which hangs is, how long will we survive with this new achievement? No achievement is permanent and shall perish with time. Look around you, not once or twice but for as long as the least chances of survival click in your mind. Then all those gigantic museums, narrow or thick pavements, smoky producing factories, and soaring apartments will seem to be wrong. Why? Because you had to pay your breaths of sustaining to see the city lights and its shine. We continuously rip off the trees, hunt down animals even after laws, produce harmful gases into the sky, and dump wastes outside the garbage bins. All these have led to our destruction. What worries us more is that we did not even spare the water bodies that make the most of our planet. You do not need to imagine plastic when you sail in a sea, because you will find it in the waters. Our careless attitude has led to water pollution, and the seas turn from blue to grey. Soon, the day will come when we will find black waters and call them the black sea. Life under oceans is no more safe because we are the killers of numerous species and coral reefs.

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While the dominant side of the developments due to science and technology is leading to destruction, there is also a part that is trying to find the last rays of life. So that life finds a way to sustain itself. Scientists, we always hold them responsible. If they hadn’t invented the bombs, the air would be clean. If they had not introduced hybrid breeding, we would not have done the cross-breeding process. If they had not done anything, the world would be as green and blue as it was. But is it rightful to hold them as the culprits? There are several scientists who are working for the oceans, for nature. And they have tried and are trying their best to rectify the mistakes, which are collectively ours. Science has come a long way in today’s time. We have gone beyond our solar system and even reached the edge of our galaxy. But even then, we have not analyzed even a meaningful section of the water world. Our oceans have millions of organisms, and so many secrets lie deep within the sea bed. Even though we do not know much about the oceans, we have constantly been utilizing the resources that are available to us. Here are some ways that the scientists and researchers are using the oceans for the world, albeit in an unharmful way;

1.Ocean Thermal Energy:- The ocean is roughly divided into two sections based on temperature. The surface level and the deep sea level. The water at the surface level has a lower temperature than the water in the deep sea. This temperature gradient between the oceanic water can be exploited without harming the thermal structure of the ocean. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants use the difference in temperature gradient between the water levels to produce water vapors that are then used to run turbines that produce electricity. This way of producing energy is believed by scientists to be one of the continually available renewable resources. The potential in Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants is calculated to be able to produce 81000 TWh of energy per year without affecting the thermal structure of the ocean even by a degree. At present, the only working Ocean Therma Energy Conversion plant is in Japan. 

2.Climate Regulation:- Recent studies have shown that oceans play a huge role in climate regulation. With Global Warming bearing its fangs, scientists have started studying current water patterns and the behavior of huger sea creatures to figure out large-scale climate changes and take protective steps if necessary. Oceans absorb the CO2 produced by humans, and this keeps the carbon cycle under control which in turn keeps the temperature under control. Upon analyzing the currents of the oceans, scientists can tell the movement of oceanic winds as well as storms.

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3.Economic activities:- The current economy depends hugely on oceanic activities. Activities like fishing and ocean tourism are anchor points in many economies. Some might say fishing harms the ocean, but it is very far from the truth. Sustainable fishing helps keep the fishes from overpopulating local waters. Also, countries that have a fishermen population usually have strict regulations that keep oceanic water safe. Where do scientists come in? They are the ones responsible for making sure the local species of fishes are not threatened and also analyzing elements that disturb the oceanic activity. Scientists also work closely with governments to create ocean-tourism plans that can raise awareness about oceans as well as garner monetary funds for the government. Ocean tourism also offers livelihood to traditional ocean-faring tribes like the Bajao tribe. Scientists work closely with them to learn about the resources in the ocean and the sustainable ways of harvesting them.

4.Sustainable trade:- More than ninety percent of the world trade happens on the water. There are various adverse effects due to this on the ocean but shunning the trade channels is not a solution. Thus, scientists are trying to come up with a more advanced and eco-friendly solution to keep world trade from harming the oceans. Some steps forward would be the regulations on the type of fuel burnt, the ship model and servicing, etc.

While scientists are using science for the betterment after a long decade of continuous development, we also need to buckle up. Not all the responsibilities must be vested upon the experts. This world is ours, and we all are equally a part of it. And if we could use the resources to facilitate our needs, we must also think of ways of how we can conserve them and use them sustainably. Here are some of the steps that we, as common dwellers of the planet earth, can act on to save our water bodies.

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  1. Say no to plastic. We have been taught to say no to plastic for a long time, since our school lives. It is time that we implement it. Save your money by not buying plastics. You will see less plastic at the seashore and more turquoise water. 
  2. Shop with reusable bags. Around 100,000 species of marine life, thriving in oceans, are endangered because we use non-biodegradable bags. These bags find their way into waters and, if eaten by marine animals, chokes them to death. So make sure to re-use the bags.
  3. Conserve water. You need to waste less water so less amount of contaminated water will flow to the oceans. Make sure you close the taps and not leave them dripping to make your own ocean at home. 
  4. Reduce production. For the factories and industries, it is very important to reduce the production and for the people to demand only what is needed. More and more residual industries flow into water, as they are the only disposal channels. This will only pollute the oceans and turn them dull and un-usable. 
  5. Fish Responsibly. Fishing must be done strategically. It is very necessary for those who are fishing to be careful of what they need and what they do not. More and more fishing will only lead to the extinction of marine species. 

While these are just some ways in which you can heal the scars and wounds of oceans, our brain knows the best. We are rational because we can think. And if we can think to make modernisation and development possible, we can also think of several ways in which we can turn back our losses into our bounties. Strangling the ocean will be another way of strangling ourselves. We are oceans, holding numerous stories within us. And if we do not have a companion like the ocean, the tales which you have in you will never find ways to flow to different lands.

Written by ~ Saima

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