Save our Ocean

 

Many people don’t realize that the ocean is in crisis from human impacts. Over half of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. If we manage to destroy the life-sustaining ecosystem of the ocean then we in turn will destroy ourselves. Please take a moment to watch the video below and browse some of the links on this page. We encourage you to take a few steps to limit your own personal impact and hope that the information gleaned here may inspire you to take steps towards improving our oceans instead of unconsciously destroying them.

The five most serious threats to our oceans are:

OVERFISHING

One in five people on the planet depend on seafood as their primary source of protein (us included). If we don’t stop overfishing we could potentially deplete all major ocean fish stocks in the next 40 years. That means no more tuna rolls or salmon dinners people!

Click here for more information

What can you do?

Please browse the link below to see the guide from NatGeo and consider purchasing an app or a pocket reference so that you can help by only purchasing sustainably-caught seafood.

Seafood Decision Guide

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch

What are we doing?

We only fish when we are running low on protein. We only keep the fish we can freeze and eat without waste. We are conscious of those species that are endangered and release when appropriate.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Humans are pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere that we are quite literally destroying the earth, including our oceans. The oceans absorb up to half of all human-caused CO2 emissions. This is only possible with a healthy ocean ecosystem and comes at a price. When the ocean absorbs CO2 it becomes more acidic. As the ocean becomes more and more acidic the less coral can cope and if the trend continues all coral reefs will die off and huge fish populations will collapse in turn. We must do everything we can to limit our carbon footprint.

Click here for more information

What can you do?

What are we doing?
We are off-the-grid and the sun provides 80% of our energy needs through solar panels.  The other 20% comes from wind and some usage of our generator.  We strive to minimize our usage of fossil fuels by choosing our passages with consideration to prevailing winds and limiting our engine use. We also try and limit the amount of time we run the gasoline generator, conscious of the impact that carbon emission have. We will look into adding more solar panels to eliminate the need to run the gasoline generator – and we strive to become carbon neutral.

POLLUTION

Did you know that every five minutes over 2 million plastic water bottles are consumed in the US alone?!? Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years. Pollution can poison marine life and decimate entire marine environments. Vast quantities of solid and chemical waste from human activities are continually dumped and leach into the oceans, including plastics, sewage, oil and toxins that accumulate in food webs.

We have seen first-hand the impacts of plastics on our oceans. When we were in Raroia we walked the beaches on the windward side and they were littered with plastics and glass bottles. Everywhere we went we saw lighters, flip flops, bottle caps, etc. The waste was from major population centers thousands of miles away. Paradise is no longer pristine. We must stop polluting our oceans.

The other major concern is from industrial pollutants including mercury. The mercury levels in oceanic fish are almost so bad that if the trend continues we will not be able to safely eat fish from the sea, effectively depriving over a billion people of their primary protein source.

Click here for more information on pollution in our oceans

Click here for more information on mercury contamination

What can you do?

Recycle, reuse and reduce. Avoid plastic wherever possible. Don’t use cosmetics that contain plastic micro-beads (particularly facewash containing polyethylene). Take part in beach cleanups. Reduce you carbon footprint.

Support companies that are environmentally conscious. Buy organic foods as these minimize agricultural impacts from chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

What are we doing?

We never buy plastic bottled water for starters. We always keep our non-biodegradable trash aboard until we find a port that recycles and never throw plastic overboard. We are now making our own sparkling water and beer and saving much waste as a result. We try and collect plastic waste in remote islands. We buy from farmers markets and organic produce whenever possible. 

PREDATOR LOSS

More than 90% of all top marine predators have disappeared from the oceans. Predator loss releases prey populations from both the pressure and risk of predation. In both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, predator removal can cause a potentially irreversible cascade of complex knock-on effects that destabilize food-webs and the marine environment as a whole. It also results in the destruction of entire coral reef systems. Imagine never being able to show your children the spectacular beauty of a healthy coral reef. We must stop killing sharks, especially for ridiculous reasons such as shark fin soup.

Click here for more information

What can you do?

Only buy sustainable fish stocks, and avoiding shark-fin soup and other shark-derived products.

HABITAT DESTRUCTION

Coastal areas are home to over 90 percent of all marine species, which thrive in ecologically-rich and diverse shallow water habitats. These habitats – chief among which are coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows – are being lost at alarming rates. Overfishing, pollution and climate change are detroying these ecosystems an in turn all marine life that depend on it for survival. There are enormous dead zones already and they are all found along major populated coastlines. Did you know that there are 400 “dead zones” around the world – areas of ocean along the coast where the water at the sea floor has become completely deprived of oxygen, essentially killing off all life. This is caused primarily by releasing fertilizer by-products into the ocean, causing algal blooms that effectively smother coral reef systems and kill the reef and all inhabitants.

We have noticed an alarming trend in the islands we visit. Without exception we have found that the more developed islands and coastal regions had less healthy and less numerous coral and fish populations. Take Oahu for example, the reef is almost completely destroyed along the coast of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor; Papeete was also similar. Now consider Toau or Raroia in the Tuamotus, where the reef was remarkably healthy. This is no coincidence. The later had no agriculture or industrial runoff. humans are destroying coastal marine ecosystems. We must take action now to stop industrial and agricultural runoff.

Click here to learn more

What can you do?

There is evidence that coastal marine ecosystems can rebuild and thrive if the pollution is stopped. You can help by voting for more strict regulations on industrial and agricultural pollution controls. You can also buy organic foods that do not utilize chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Consider donating to these organizations:

If you chose to donate through these links please let us know so we can list your name on this page. Thank you for taking action!

Picture of fish in Cocos(PRISTINE SEAS FOUNDATION – NATGEO)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>