“Oh I do like to be beside the sea”
Don’t we all hey? Whether it’s throwing pebbles and poking sticks in rock pools on the Cornish coast or dipping our toes in the lapping waters on a beach in Greece, we all love to be beside the sea.
But what if those lapping waters by the beach were full of plastic, or smelly dead fish? Last week we had World Environment Day, this past Thursday was World Oceans Day, a celebration of the wonder of the planet’s oceans.
Our oceans are under threat from climate change and human impact. As a fundamental ecosystem to human life, we massively underestimate what this threat really means and you don’t have to be a scientist to work it out:
- Oceans generate half the oxygen that people breathe
- Oceans reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere thus reducing the effects of climate change
- Oceans provide a sixth of the animal protein that people eat
- Oceans are the most promising source of medicines to treat cancer, bacterial diseases and pain.
So what must we do?
- Stop littering! One of the biggest issues for marine life is litter, animals in the ocean can be trapped in waste or consume it, poisoning or choking themselves.
- Similarly, stop using single-use plastic bottles (invest in a long life/sustainable one) to prevent the amount of waste going to landfill or into waste bins where it can be blown away.
- Choose sustainable fish – traditional fishing techniques are detrimental to marine species as the nets used not only litter the ocean when cut off, but also catch a multitude of species, any of which that are unwanted by fishermen are thrown dead back into the ocean. This has been one of the causes of declining shark and turtle populations.
- Go eco! Choosing holidays by or on the sea that are eco-friendly means that the travel companies you use are committed to preserving the environment, thus protecting the oceans will be part and parcel of their services.
- Or if you really want to get hands on, help take care of the beach. Assisting in beach clean-ups and volunteering for marine conservation organisations are great ways to get involved!
Although we have just one day a year to celebrate the oceans we should be continually conscious about our impacts on the environment, keep up the good work! 🌊