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Sir David Attenborough—who showed "heartbreaking" examples of the effects of plastic pollution on marine life in his Blue Planet II series—spoke with Sky News ahead of World Oceans Day about humanity's responsibility to save our struggling seas.

"We've become aware of what we've done to the world and the responsibility we have for looking after the wild world," he revered British naturalist said.

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A monk seal swimming over a coral reef bottom. NOAA Photo Library

The world's oceans are vast and boundless, and its spectacular and innumerable diversity of sea creatures and plants may seem immune from human harm. But as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the United Nations conference on oceans last year, our seas and its inhabitants are "now under threat as never before."

The human footprint has pushed marine species numbers to the "brink of collapse." The constant consumption of plastics has turned our oceans into a dumping ground. And the burning of fossil fuels has fueled ocean heating, leading to dire consequences such as declining oxygen levels in the oceans, coral bleaching and sea level rise.

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By Pete Stauffer

Ever since the United Nations declared June 8th to be World Oceans Day in 2002, people and groups from around the world have used the occasion to celebrate the ocean and take steps to protect it. Now, with the ocean facing more threats than ever, it's time for all of us to come together to protect our treasured marine environment.

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