85% of human beings eat fish and other marine life. Almost 50% of every country’s income is derived from tourism, which is often made possible by stretches of immaculate beaches, inviting blue waters, colorful coral reefs and underwater lives, and the fact that one can get unparalleled relaxation even by just listening to the hush-hush of the waves. In other words, most countries have their seas and beaches to boost tourism. Almost 75% of travelers around the world travel by boat because plane tickets are costlier compared to ship tickets. Let’s not also forget the cargo ships and vessels and the trading ships that travel each and every day to great lengths just to keep trading and overseas business possible. Finally, studies show that two thirds of the value that we get (that includes food, tourism, transportation, revenues, etc) to support our daily are from the ocean. Truly, the ocean is never just a large body of water as it is a large body of life. How can we keep our ocean healthy?
Re-use Grey Water – Grey water is the term coined for used water from dishwashing, laundry, and bathing that is still reusable. Instead of throwing it into the sewage system, toss it into your garden. Grey water contains traces of phosphorus, grease, and other chemicals that can harm marine creatures, but are deemed beneficial by plants. Sewage systems, especially those found in houses in the city usually ends in bodies of water like rivers, which then goes to the ocean after sometime.
Never Leave Anything at the Beach – Even your Cigarette Butt – Tons fishes, and even birds that reside in nearby seas, are poisoned and died because of the remnants that beach goers and human strollers leave at the beach. These remnants can be washed away by the waves to the great ocean, which is then eaten by underwater creatures. Even when not eaten, certain products, specifically plastics, are made up of compounds that don’t dissolve in water and scatter in the vast ocean, introducing tons of chemicals in it, which eventually lead to the death of aplenty of marine creatures. Organizing beach cleaning activities is also a great way to help spread awareness to the current state of our ocean and to the devastating effects of garbage and climate change to the ocean.
Reduce Carbon Footprint – This may confuse you because carbon dioxide has got nothing to do with ocean conservation. The presence of carbon dioxide may not have a direct effect to the ocean, but it can greatly cause the depletion of the ozone and contribute to climate change, which, in turn, can harm the ocean greatly. Researchers have noted that global warming have slowly melted and damaged coral reefs, which are the natural habitats of the millions of underwater creatures in the ocean. The sun’s striking heat and the rising heat of the Earth under the ocean have caused other marine animals to shorten their lifespan because of the changes of their habitat’s temperature. To reduce carbon footprint, it is important to switch to energy-saving options like LED lights; carpooling or biking to nearby destinations; and the observation of 3 R’s namely, reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Be a Wise Underwater Consumer – Did you know that not all fishes are safe to eat? Opt for matured fishes and don’t patronize fishermen who practice illegal ways of fishing. You are just pushing them to input more damage to the ocean. Also, choose sea foods that are both sustainable and healthy. Another thing, avoid patronizing people who exploit underwater life like those selling tortoise shells and other accessories from hawksbill turtle since this specie is already deemed endangered. Shark oil and the likes are other products to look out.
Traverse the Ocean Responsibly – Do you love to travel? If you do, avoid throwing anything to the ocean overboard. Make sure to practice safe, healthy, and responsible water activities like kayaking, surfing, water rafting, fishing, and many others. Choosing the greenest travel option on water is another way to traverse the ocean responsibly.
Stand for What You Believe In – This might sound too patriotic, but this is actually an important step that every ocean lover and eco-friendly person should do to help save marine life. These species don’t live underwater to be exploited. Like humans, underwater creatures also have the right to be respected and cared. Join organizations that care for the ocean and be active in promoting ocean health in your own ways.
The sad thing is, most of us are greedy, and we don’t really care what we destroy so long as we achieve our goal – money. However, if we all speak up for the rights of these underwater creatures and if we all show them that these animals aren’t given life to be exploited, ocean conservation will be observed collectively. Let’s act now.