The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), is the Official Marine Life Information Provider to the Sea Creatures Exhibition. SAMS have written and edited all educational information related to the specimens and wider exhibition content. We have a shared objective of educating our visitors around the current topic of marine and ocean species conservation.
As our relationship with the blue planet becomes ever more intertwined, Sea Creatures: Life Beneath The Ocean, will educate and enthral audiences with fascinating facts, figures and information.
The Ocean is probably the biggest business in the world. It provides half the oxygen we breathe, it has absorbed a quarter of our CO2 emissions, and puts food on our plates. Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet. It’s hard to imagine, but about 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans.
But it is in danger. You may not be able to see it from above the surface, but the threats are many and the risks are real: plastics are choking our sea life; pollution is causing ‘dead zones’; our corals are dying; climate change is heating our Ocean, making it more acidic; and too many boats are chasing fewer and fewer fish.
There is no exact figure yet of how many marine species are currently living in the world’s oceans. Marine experts have estimated anything between 1 million and 10 million sea creatures, as new species are discovered all the time and many species border on the point of extinction. What we do know, is more than 360 marine species are classed as endangered already or vulnerable of becoming so. Some of the best-known of endangered marine life includes the hawksbill turtle, the monk seal, the angel shark, and the blue whale.
Before, it was assumed that because the ocean was so big, vast and deep, that the effects of dumping trash and litter into the sea would only have minimal consequences. But as we have seen, this has proven to not be the case. While all four oceans have suffered as a result of human consequence for over millennia by now, it has accelerated in the past few decades. Oil Spills, toxic wastes, floating plastic and various other factors have all contributed to the pollution of the ocean. However, the oceans can regenerate and replenish themselves, if we help it.