The ocean covers about 71% of the Earth’s surface. Failure to safeguard this vital resource might render the remaining 29% inhabitable as the oceans produce over half of the world’s oxygen, buffers the impacts of global warming, creates livelihoods and hosts reservoirs of biodiversity.
Sri Lanka is blessed with a coastline that spans across 1500km and has sovereign right over 517,000 km2 of ocean, which is 7.8 times larger than its total land area. Our waters provide a home to 26 species of the 80 cetaceans, including the blue whale – the largest animal known to have ever existed – who rarely migrate, and our coasts are graced by 5 out of the 7 species of sea turtles.
Saving the ocean is in the best interests of all life on Earth, therefore advocacy is key to bring about change by creating conservation policies, enforcing existing laws through effective regulation, pushing corporations to operate in an environmentally friendly manner and facilitating civic engagement and collective action.
Out of the many unprecedented threats arising from anthropogenic activities, plastic pollution is the most widespread problem that affects our marine environment. From the onset, The Pearl Protectors have largely focused on advocating to prevent further pollution while also working towards strengthening marine protected areas, incentivizing restaurants to eliminate plastics voluntarily, setting guidelines to avoid unethical sea turtle hatcheries that hinder conservation, promoting sustainable fishing practices and emphasizing the need for effective contingency plans for oil spills.