Oceans cover 70 per cent of the Earth. They produce more oxygen than the Amazon, regulate the Earth’s climate and are home to an extraordinary wealth of life. But due to human activity, the oceans are under threat like never before.
What can we do?
1. Stop Eating Fish
It sounds simple, but you’d be shocked at the number of people who think that the best way to conserve fish populations is to eat them! Fishing in all forms, be it via pole and line or trawler vessels, damages the intricately balanced predator-prey ecosystem under the sea. If we carry on consuming fish at the current rate, we will see a complete devastation of fish populations by 2048. Moreover, much of the plastic and other waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is abandoned fishing gear.
2. Refuse Single Use Plastics
Plastic is suffocating the ocean, polluting the seas and killing aquatic life. We are dumping 12.7 million tonnes of the stuff into our oceans every year. A scary thought. But we can all break our toxic relationship with plastic. Simply buy reusable coffee cups and water bottles, use metal straws, and refuse to buy single-use plastic food packaging wherever you can.
3. Ask Yourself: Do I Need This?
Before you reach for another pair of plastic earrings, or buy another pair of dyed jeans, think to yourself how much will I really use this? Does this item have longevity? If you can’t guarantee that the answer is Yes, you might want to consider a more sustainable alternative.
4. Use Biodegradable Detergents and Cleaning Products
Biodegradable cleaning products help to keep our waterways clean and free from toxic pollution. Some great brands to look out for are Ecover, Ecozone and Bio D. It’s a simple switch that can make a big difference.
5. Refuse to Use Micro-Plastics
Micro-plastics are small pieces of polyethylene that are sometimes added to beauty and cosmetic products such as cleansers and toothpastes. These harmful plastics are difficult to process out of our water and can end up choking microorganisms in the ocean.
6. Use Beaches Responsibly
When visiting the coast, make a concerted effort to leave the environment in the same state as when you arrived. Take home your waste and ensure your skincare products don’t spray onto the sand.
7. Don’t Buy Items Which Exploit Marine Life
Shell and coral accessories might look appealing, but if you saw the devastation behind the pretty exterior, you might think twice about making that purchase. Always ensure your shell is faux.
8. Support Conservation Projects
Surfers Against Sewerage, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd and the World Wildlife Fund all run ocean conservation programmes which are in need of your help. Take a look at their sites and support them if you can.
9. Travel Smart Through Our Oceans
10. Ditch Meat, Eggs and Dairy
Toxins from animal farming – mostly manure and fertiliser – pour into waterways and exacerbate ocean dead zones by stimulating an overgrowth of alga which in turn leads to a lack of oxygen. Animals cannot survive in these conditions, and so they either flee or die. And we should remember that vast numbers of fish are taken from the ocean and fed to farmed animals. For these reasons, eating plant-based is a great way to help our oceans.Try Vegan