Mr. Speaker, with every breath we take, every drop of water we drink, human beings are connected to the ocean. They are our life support system, give us more than half the oxygen we breathe, regulate our climate, provide invaluable resources and are an endless source of magic and mystery for the human spirit.
Eighty percent of the world's population lives within 100 kilometres of an ocean and three and a half billion people depend on the oceans for food. Yet, scientists estimate that up to one-third of commercial fisheries are overfished, climate change is making oceans warmer and more acidic, and a mere half a percent of global marine habitats are protected. We have work to do.
June 8 is World Oceans Day, a great opportunity to celebrate oceans, but our aim must be to protect them as a way of life. That is why this year's theme, “Youth: The Next Wave for Change”, is so critical. We welcome young people's creativity and innovative ideas so that we can truly sustain oceans as they sustain us.