We share the world with many other living organisms, and we like to think of ourselves as the dominant lifeform on Earth. The truth is, we aren't even close to the most populous by number, or even mass (BBC Earth Story: What's the most dominant life form), and we share the world with a host of other living creatures. Like any good housemate, we should be doing our fair share in keeping our home (planet) liveable for everyone concerned, including our non-speaking friends.
More than two thirds of our planet is water, and most of this water is in our oceans. It is not surprising thus that much of the Earth's biomass is marine life. Much of the oxygen that we breathe also comes from the sea.
Human activity has been accelerating climate change due to an increase in greenhouse gases, and because of this the seas are getting warmer. This is in turn adversely affecting coral reefs all over the world, making them more prone to disease, as well as reducing the biodiversity of the reefs themselves. Coral bleaching caused by rising temperatures also makes symbiotic marine life more vulnerable, having lost their natural camouflage.
Whales are one of the most majestic living creatures to roam this earth, from the leviathan blue whale, to the graceful orca. However, their populations are being threatened and many whale species are endangered, as a result of commercial whaling, shipping activity, and climate change.
Another way we harm the oceans is from the tonnes of pollution that we dump into the sea. Chemical waste from fertilisers washes into the oceans and causes algal bloom and affects marine life. Marine trash from littering, and poor waste management - much of which is plastic - poison, tangle, and injure fish and other lifeforms.
There's not a lot we can do as individuals, but every little bit helps. The first step to saving our oceans and our planet, is to realise the harm that we are doing to it, and how our actions will in turn disadvantage our species in the long run. Ultimately, our planet can survive our actions, but we may not be able to ourselves.
One of the things we can directly do to help is to reduce waste. When we reduce the use of disposable products, for example, by using our own reusable food containers, or by choosing products made from recycled materials, a little goes a long way.
Another thing we can do is to spread the word. Not everyone is aware of what we are doing to our planet, and how it is harming our future. It is easier to turn a blind eye, but ultimately the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.