World Ocean Day

Every year, the world celebrates World Ocean Day on June 8th. In 2022, the theme was "Revitalization: collective action for the ocean". For this edition, we organized a full day of ocean literacy workshops and an evening panel discussion.

For the first time, Ōtautahi /Christchurch participated in World Ocean Day activities with two different events in two different locations.

The first was an Ocean Literacy activity aimed at teachers and students at the International Antarctic Centre. Schools from as far as Diamond Harbour came to learn about their role in marine protection and species management.

Four interactive workshops were presented to over 50 students, their teachers and principals. The topics covered included citizen science, penguin conservation, marine litter, and sustainable fishing practices. The event brought together speakers from Sustainable Coastlines, Pohatu Penguins, and material from the Marine Stewardship Council, to provide a holistic world view of human impact on the ocean. Participants also learned about the #30×30 initiative: a plan to conserve 30% of the Earth’s land and sea areas by 2030 through “area-based conservation measures” such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

In addition to the “One World Ocean” view promoted by World Ocean Day organizers, the school pupils had the opportunity to reflect on positive actions they can do every day to support the health of their own backyard and community. When asked what positive ocean actions they could do to support a healthy ocean, by the end, responses ranged from buying sustainably caught fish to participating in local research and environmental monitoring projects.

Blue Cradle and the International Antarctic Centre are hoping to make this an annual event, with each year bringing in new speakers and more schools.

The second event, a Panel Discussion, took place in the evening,  at the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE), at the University of Canterbury and bringing together different speakers working in different oceanic areas. Around the central theme of ‘Revitalizing the Ocean through collective action’, topics ranged from the EU’s work in the Pacific, Antarctica & Southern Ocean awareness building, Great Barrier Reef climate change issues, the Pacific Islands social-ecological systems and mana whenua’s crucial governance role in natural resource management in Aotearoa. This event was targeted to University students and the broader public. It was broadcast live and was also recorded.

Support for this event came from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

Both our events on World Ocean Day in 2022 contributed to growing the ocean community in Ōtautahi-Christchurch, spreading ocean literacy & bringing people together.​




The Testimonials below are from year 7 & 8 school pupils from Cobham Intermediate:

“At World Ocean Day, I learnt about how the pollution that is getting put into the ocean makes the ocean more acidic which is bad for the environment and animals that live in it.”


“On World ocean day I thought that it was very interesting how they were tracking the pohatu penguins. I also learnt a lot about the food train while using the string.”


“The World Ocean Day event was a really fun and exciting experience. I got to learn about the ocean, Antarctica, and penguins. My favourite part of the day was seeing the tiny little penguins and learning about the reasons they were there and how they were rescued. The most fascinating thing I learned was that some plastics that were created a long time ago still exist in this world. I learnt that there are things called micro-plastics that are deep down in the Ocean and have not been used since 1907. Overall, I think it was a very inspiring and educational experience and I would love to do it again!”


“World Ocean Day taught me about what a circular healthy ecosystem was and how we can protect the marine life in the future. I really enjoyed listening to different speakers talking about their perspectives of the ocean, and in the end everything came back to the point that we, the current generation need to protect, preserve, and conserve the ocean and everything involved.”


“What an amazing experience for our students! The day was full of learning with interactive tasks inspiring our students to be kaitiaki of our oceans. We came away being more aware of the human impact on the health of the ocean and how to protect and conserve it for future generations. Awesome work Blue Cradle! Ngā mihi”

Jacinta Burton – Teacher

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