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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore

About our oceans

Why are the oceans important?

Australia is a marine nation. We have one of the largest ocean territories in the world, and it drives our climate and weather, generates employment, provides food and resources, and offers lifestyle and recreational opportunities. Much of the world’s reserves of petroleum and natural gas are found under the ocean floor. Desalinated seawater is used for drinking and for agricultural and industrial purposes.

The oceans influence our short- and long-term climate, affect food production on continents, and generate hazards such as storms, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

What is an ocean?
What are the Earth's oceans?
Who owns the oceans?
What's under the ocean?
Ocean Zones
Why are the oceans important?
What are the threats to our oceans?

What are the threats to our oceans?

In the past marine life has been freely available to those with the means to catch it. Advances in technology have meant that the ability, reach and power of vessels and equipment used to exploit marine life now far outweigh nature's ability to maintain it.

Ocean life comes in a vast range of shapes and sizes - from microscopic plankton to the largest of the whales. Yet many species have been, or are being, driven towards extinction through human impacts.

The next pages look at the major threats to our oceans.

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Marine and Atmospheric Research


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