Help the oceans in three easy steps!

Written by Kajsa IngelssonJune 9, 2017

It’s widely known that our oceans and lakes are in trouble. And if they are in trouble, it means that we are in trouble. For far too long, people and companies have had the mindset that out of sight = out of mind. Well, that doesn’t cut it anymore. We have to address the problems our waters are facing today, at every level in society.

Today, let’s learn about three easy steps that you can take to be part of the solution!

One of the biggest threats to our oceans is plastic pollution.

Around 8 million tons of plastic are now dumped in the world’s oceans every year. Marine life can eat or become tangled in the debris, and the latest research finds that pollutants are seriously damaging the immune systems of some of our most beloved aquatic pals like dolphins.

What can you do to combat this in your everyday life? A lot:

  • Say no to plastic straws!
  • Bring your own, reusable bags when shopping.
  • Recycle your plastic and never, ever litter!
  • Bring your own reusable coffee cup, bottle, cutlery and lunch box when doing take away.
  • Reduce your water-use. Check this for more information.

Another major problem is overfishing. 

Globally, around 180 million tons of seafood are caught annually. In order to satisfy demand, fisheries have been known to overfish certain species and go after ones that are threatened, which throws off the delicate ecosystem balance. Today, it’s estimated that over 70 percent of the world’s fisheries as either fully exploited, overexploited, or significantly depleted.

Do your part in saving our marine ecosystems by taking the following steps:

  • Reduce your consumption of fish or go vegan.
  • Research your provider of fish and make sure that they are catching it ethically and sustainable. There are apps for this, making it a super easy step to take.
  • Say no to shrimps! Farmed shrimp is very destructive since they basically kill of the land (usually mangrooves) they are using just within a few years, and wild caught shrimp is usually caught by bottom trawling. This means that you sweep the bottom with huge nets. Only 10% of the fish caught are shrimps, the rest of the 90% gets thrown back into the sea, dead.
  • Make sure that your fish isn’t endangered or in the risk-zone by checking this list.

Last but not least; global warming and coral bleaching.

Global warming is raising the temperatures in the ocean, making it more acidic (check this short TED talk out for more info on this). Corals and other shellfish start to dissolve in the warmer, more acidic water. The coral release the alge giving them their color, turning white as they are dying.

Reefs around the world are suffering from this bleaching, with the most notable being the Great Barrier Reef. Experts have concluded that 95 percent of areas surveyed in the reef have now been bleached. Just last month, scientists concluded that it has reached a point of no return 🙁 However, do not fret! There are a lot of different innovations working with this, and they have published impressive results!

What can you do to stop this horrible wipe out of underwater ecosystems?

  • Change your sunscreen! The UV chemicals that pose a threat to corals are oxybenzone and octinoxate but also nanotized zino oxide and titanium dioxide. They are nasty in other ways too, so choose a natural sunscreen.
  • I know, I said it before, and I will again and again: reduce your animal consumption or go vegan to combat climate change!
  • Choose to commute, walk or bike as a form of transportation.
  • Sign petitions and keep the pressure on your government to support climate action.

Want to know more? Visit The Nature Conservancy and WWF to find resources and consider donating to support their work.