Many of you will have seen the increased media hype around plastics and microplastics and their impact on the World’s oceans. Unfortunately this is by no means a new issue and its frustrating to many that it has taken so long to see more public awareness.
Plus plastics aren’t the only threats to our marine life:
Coral bleaching – rising sea temperatures pose a huge threat particularly to our coral reefs. An issue touched upon in the recent Blue Planet II with Sir David Attenborough and a threat being researched by amazing organisations like Great Barrier Reef Legacy
Plastics in our oceans – it is estimated that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans! Plastics and microplastics are a huge threat to marine ecosystems and to humans since plastics eaten by fish end up in our food chain
Marine debris, ocean dumping and oil spills – in addition to plastics other wastes are also big threats to marine life
Over fishing – affects the balance of life in the oceans. In addition communities who depend on fish for their way of life suffer social and economic consequences. According to WWF more than 30% of the world’s fisheries need restoration and have been pushed far beyond their limits
Pollution – shipping emissions such as NOx and SOx and Ozone depleting substances such as CFCs. In addition is has been proven that noise pollution from ships has a negative effect on marine organisms include haemorrhages, changed diving pattern, migration to newer places, and damage to internal organs and an overall panic response to foreign sounds
Ocean acidification – a rising issue endangering marine animals and people who rely on fish for their sustenance, largely caused by increasing CO2 from the atmosphere
Dredging – causes disturbances to marine ecosystems, steps have been taken to mitigate this but cases are still prevalent
Lack of protected ocean – more than 12% of land is protected, why aren’t our oceans? Less than 5% of our oceans are protected, organisations such as Mission Blue are working increase this to 20% by 2020. The Ted Talk from Sylvia Earle below explains things far better than we ever could!
Unfortunately it seems that ignorance is the biggest threat! Many people don’t understand how much we rely on our oceans, the infographic below demonstrates this.
And many may not see the underwater world for themselves in their lifetime and so it seems much more difficult to showcase to the general public just how much damage is being caused.
Being crazy in love with scuba diving since going travelling in April 2015, we have seen first hand the devastation of Coral Bleaching to the Great Barrier Reef. We have also experienced other frustrating incidents while on tours and dive trips;
Tourists coating themselves in non-reef safe suncream before jumping in for their snorkel/dive
People on liveaboards or overnight boat trips using all sorts of cosmetics and toiletries which get flushed into the sea
A dive guide in Coron, the Philippines flicking his cigarette butt over the side
People harassing, touching or kicking corals and marine life
Trash floating in oceans and lagoons…
Some of you may already know that I own a Marketing Agency called Deep Blue Digital. As part of my work here I offer pro-bono online marketing services to marine conservation organisations such as Great Barrier Reef Legacy.
Up until now we have done the usual small things to reduce our impact on the environment but even we did not understand the full extent of some of the threats to our oceans. But it is never too late to learn and make a difference. It’s time we did something about it.
Why we’re doing this?!?
It may seem like a heck of a lot of effort to some to change all these habits we’ve accumulated over twenty-something years. And although there is a long way to go. It really is never to late to make a difference.
Here are just some of the many reasons that we’ve decided to do this:
To reduce our household waste
To reduce the negative impact we have on the environment
To eliminate single-use plastics
We love to scuba dive
To help make sure there is a healthy ocean, marine life and beautiful coral reefs left for us and future generations to enjoy
To stop turtles mistaking plastic bags for jelly fish
To help prevent waste from entering our food chain
To support local businesses, farmers and producers
To save money
To help clean up our beaches
To support marine conservation projects and initiatives.
Learn & Grow
If you want to learn more, we strongly encourage you to watch:
The above documentaries say it far better than we ever could! So we end this blog post with our pledge for 2018: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (Compost) In that order! (Thank you Bea Johnson).
Now we’ve never been ones to agree with forcing beliefs on anyone but if you are interested in how and why we are taking this journey to living waste and plastic-free follow us and we hope you will consider joining us :).
Zero waste gifts, pet accessories & refurbished furniture.