We are not aware of the full extent of the medical, economic, social, political and environmental importance of the sea. Our day-to-day actions can have a cumulative effect on the health of the ocean and seas – a necessary resource that must be protected for all life on planet earth to exist.
In other words, we lack a sense of Ocean Literacy that is an understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean.
An ocean-literate person understands the importance of the ocean to humankind; can communicate about the ocean in a meaningful way; and, is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.
While education and traditional advertising can be effective in creating awareness, numerous studies document that behaviour change rarely occurs as a result of simply providing information, but through initiatives delivered at the community level focusing on removing barriers to an activity and therefore enhancing the activity’s benefits.
Ocean literacy is more than just educating or informing the public and the marine and maritime stakeholders about the importance of oceans. Ocean literacy, through the use of behavioural change methods and by adopting a system approach, aims at facilitating the creation of an ocean literate society.
Ocean literacy for all: a toolkit IOC. Manuals and guides; 80 Publ: 2017; 136 p.
Ocean Literacy portal https://oceanliteracy.unesco.org/