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For a really long period in the past, we considered oceans as our favorite dumping place for all kinds of waste ranging from pesticides and industrial waste to radioactive waste. Dumping of the most toxic materials was banned in 1972 and later several more in 1996. But what was already dumped and what is not yet banned and is still being dumped, are enough to pose serious threat to oceans and environment as a whole.

Oceans cover 70.8% of Earth's surface

It is estimated that around 80% of the pollution happening in seas is caused due to man’s activities on land. Maybe the overabundance of seas on the surface of earth tempted us to think that however we treat the oceans, the effect will always be negligible. But sadly these actions are capable of triggering severe reactions from the nature, and these include but are not limited to global warming, health problems and climate changes. In addition to environmental problems, death and disease caused by polluted coastal waters costs global economy $12.8 billion a year (estimated year 2004).

With these grave issues and many more highlighted, WED 2004 was held with the theme ‘Wanted! Seas and Oceans- Dead or Alive?’ at Barcelona in Spain. The theme asks us to make a choice on how we want to treat the earth’s seas and oceans. The theme conveys the message that the world’s water resources are in urgent need of protection. Life started in the oceans, and will end with them too, if we don’t take immediate measures for conservation.

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