Seven ways you can help save the world's oceans
The oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and they are a valuable resource to all living creatures.
Without water, no life on Earth is possible, so we have to be pro-active in conserving this irreplaceable resource.
Whether you are a recreational diver or just a fan of the big blue, we can all do something to live a greener lifestyle and preserve our planet. We list seven ways you can start helping to conserve and protect the oceans.
1) Go greener
Your carbon footprint plays a significant role in the production of greenhouse gasses, which contribute to an increase in climate change. The effects of climate changes include:
- warmer ocean temperatures
- rising water levels
- and a rise in the pH level of the ocean.
These pose a threat to the survival of the ocean’s fauna and flora. But there are steps that each of us can take to mitigate climate change.
Begin by making small changes. Use energy-efficient light bulbs, join a lift club, or even better, start cycling. The more small changes you can make to your lifestyle, the better!
2) Cut down on your plastic use
Single-use plastic pollutes our oceans and destroys marine habitats. It also leads to the death of numerous marine creatures.
One study estimates that there are between 15 and 51 trillion microplastics particles floating on the surface of the oceans.
Apart from becoming entangled in plastic, certain creatures, like sea turtles, develop the “floating syndrome” where they float from ingesting plastic. A floating turtle can’t flee from its predators or move away from boats, let alone dive down into the ocean for its next meal.
Cut down on your plastic use by refusing, reusing and recycling.
3) Counteract toxic spills
Toxic materials often find their way to the ocean when they are not disposed of properly.
Think of your own body, if you fill it with unhealthy things, you will get sick and won’t be able to perform at your best. The ocean isn’t any different. Any toxic chemicals that enter the ocean affect its overall health.
When you use toxic materials, like motor oil, don’t pour leftovers down the drain, rather make sure to dispose of it in a drop-off site designed for this purpose.
4) Join project aware: Dive Against Debris
Want to help clear the oceans of existing plastic waste? You can get involved with Project AWARE‘s Dive Against Debris campaign in your local community by:
- picking up any marine debris you come across during your dives
- organising group Dives Against Debris events in your area
- looking into collaborating with local authorities and making this a regular event.
You might just spark interest in someone else and soon you can have a whole team working together to help clean up our oceans!
If you’re not a diver, you could organise a beach clean in your area instead.
5) Support sustainable fisheries
Fish populations are being depleted at an alarming rate because of habitat destruction and unsustainable commercial fishing practices.
Make sure that you only eat fish on the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) approved list. Give yourself peace of mind by choosing the MSC eco-label and support sustainable fisheries. This, in turn, supports the future of our oceans.
6) Don’t buy products made from marine life
When you visit a coastal town you are likely to see souvenirs made from various forms of marine life.
- tortoiseshell hair accessories
- coral jewellery
- shark products, especially teeth and fins
- any cosmetics containing traces of whales or sharks.
However tempting that new red lipstick might look, be sure it is ocean-friendly before you buy it!
7) Support marine conservation education
Do some research and find out if there are any local or national organisations or campaigns, such as PADI’s Project AWARE, that you can support.
You can give financial support to these organisations to assist them in spreading the word about marine conservation. Alternatively, you can lend a hand by volunteering to help communities learn about the importance of marine conservation.
Your continued support will contribute to raising awareness, and taking the steps needed to turn the tides in favour of the oceans!
Ready to ramp up your efforts to preserve the oceans? There are many marine conservation opportunities available to make a sustainable difference in for marine life.
Explore the underwater wonderland and other incredible fields with one of GVI’s international, award-winning volunteering programs and internships. Make an impact with one of our marine projects in Fiji, Mexico, Greece or Seychelles.
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