World Oceans Day is important because it draws attention to our largest life support system, which desperately needs our help.
Did you know that three out of every four breaths of air — regardless of where you live on the globe — come from the phytoplankton in our oceans?
Coral reefs are home to the strongest medicines my colleagues have ever discovered.
For instance, the venom from sea snails living along coral reefs in the Philippines contains a compound, which is 100 times more powerful at delivering pain relief than morphine and its non-addictive.
Soft corals from northwest Australia are the most potent anti-cancer compounds ever discovered.
Caribbean sea squirts offer effective treatment for breast and melanoma cancers.
Since 1969, sponges from the Florida Keys have played a valuable role in treating leukemia.
My colleagues discovered and developed the important AIDS drug AZT from research along coral reefs. Coral is the most effective treatment in regrowing bones with patients requiring no immuno-suppressing drugs.
Coral reefs and our oceans are dying quickly from poaching and over-harvesting, from pollution and plastics, and from the climate crisis and human greed.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and lend a helping hand because if the oceans die, we die.
Please support The Ochre Project and Sea Shepherd Australia because they’re protecting “the doctors of the sea” – sharks, whales and dolphins.
Earth Dr. Reese Halter is the author of Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save our Oceans.