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Should more be done to protect our oceans?

14th - 21st April 2023

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To mark Earth Day, our voters had a think about whether they think there is enough action being taken towards protecting our oceans.

Over 70% of Earth is covered in water, however only 4% of the world’s oceans are protected!

The health of our oceans is a topic that is being discussed by governments all around the world, and ways governments and communities can manage these environmental issues are often debated. Whether that’s about sewage discharge into the ocean or plastic pollution making its way to our seas (the UN are predicting that by 2040 there will be 2-3 times more plastic pollution in the sea.).

For example, in June the UN’s ‘High Seas’ treaty was signed, as a way for countries to work together to protect our oceans.

Primary pupil

Age 5-11

"It is a scary thought that if we do not look after our oceans that our oxygen levels will fall and therefore will affect our lives."

Secondary school student

Age 11-16

"Well obviously, think about how much would be done if the priority shifted from the upper classes to our environment and people."

Sixth form student

Age 16+

"Of course, 50% of our oxygen is produced by the oceans plants so harming our oceans affects our oxygen so every time you have rubbish think where it may end up."

92% of those aged 5-11 voted that more should be done to protect our oceans.

  • Voters aged 7-11 had the highest 'Yes' majority this week, with 92% voting that more should be done to protect our oceans.
  • Comparatively, 91% of 5-7-year-olds also voted 'Yes'.
  • Of our total number of Primary pupils (aged 5-11), that left just 8% voting that we shouldn't do more than we currently are to protect our oceans.
87% of those aged 11-16 agreed that more should be done, even after the High Seas Treaty was recently signed.

  • All age groups had 'Yes' majorities for this VoteTopic, however our lowest majority came from Secondary students aged 11-16.
  • 13% voted 'No', believing that we don't need to do more to protect our oceans.
  • The 'No' comments we received suggest that some students think there are more pressing concerns to focus on, such as the cost of living crisis.
90% of those aged 16% also believe that more should be done to protect our oceans.

  • A higher majority of 16+ voters than Secondary students voted 'Yes', at 90%.
  • In the comments, many students said that there is no Planet B and humanity can't survive without ocean conservation efforts.
  • Alongside this, lots of comments expressed concern for ocean wildlife and how ocean pollution is affecting them.
Concerns about irreversible damage was a common reason for voting yes

  • The most common concern was that the damage done to our oceans is often irreversible and could lead to the Earth becoming uninhabitable.
  • Some comments also expressed a desire for our priorities to change, so that efforts to protect the environment are seen as more important than financial gain.
Should more be done to protect our oceans results.

Feedback from our Impact Partners

Tom Crawford, from the Marine Conservation Society, a charity which campaigns for cleaner and healther oceans, responded to what the children said.