Now Is the Time for Change: How We Can Do Our Part in Helping Save Our Oceans



We are currently facing a severe ocean crisis where the sea levels are rising due to global warming, resulting in coastal habitats being destroyed. Agricultural pesticides are leaking into the oceans, creating a depletion of oxygen, killing marine plants and shellfish. And, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), plastic pollution has resulted in 90% of seabirds having plastic in their stomachs and one-in-two marine turtles will have eaten plastic in their lifetime.


This is a crisis that we cannot continue to risk facing, especially when we rely on the oceans so much. According to the United Nation's Department of Economic and Social Affairs:

"Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods"

This means that the oceans help reduce poverty through providing opportunities for work. Additionally, as the ocean reduces greenhouse gasses, it provides us the water and oxygen we breathe, ensuring global food security.


Within the Friends of Ocean Action's statement 'No Healthy Planet without a Healthy Ocean', Ambassador and Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action, said:

"This can be the year that the world hats the decline in the ocean's health. Simply put, there can be no healthy planet without a healthy ocean, and the ocean's health is measurably in decline."

And this couldn't be more true! By changing our lifestyles, we can have a large impact on the world. Which is why I plan on sharing some of the ways in which we can contribute to saving our oceans:


Conserve water


Did you know that a running tap can waste approximately 4 to 8 litres per minute? So, by turning the tap off while we brush our teeth, we can save so much water! Plus, rather than running the tap until the water goes cold, we could keep a bottle or jug of water in the fridge for instant chilled water whenever we need.


By conserving water, we will also be conserving the energy used to treat and transport water. This will help us reduce our carbon footprints, reducing the amount of pollution the ocean absorbs. Conserving water also means more water in our ecosystems to support the habitats in wetlands.


Reduce waste


The ocean currently has 5.25 trillion micro and macro pieces, greatly affecting the ocean's marine ecosystem. Reducing the waste of plastic is a crucial step in how we can stop the deterioration of the ocean's health.


One of the easiest things we can do to reduce waste is to re-use and recycle. By purchasing reusable bottles, coffee cups, shopping bags, utensils and straws, we will be able to reduce the amount of plastic thrown into landfills which subsequently end up in the oceans. Of course, we can't always avoid using plastic, but by recycling the plastic we do use, we are lowering the chances of the plastic ending up in the ocean, as the plastics are sent to contained environments.


Molly Swindell, a fellow Mindless Mag storyteller, shares how our fashion choices can also reduce the amount of plastic waste in our oceans through investing, researching and changing how we treat our clothes. You can find her article here.


Shop smart


Overfishing is the result of fish being caught quicker than stock can be replenished and sold, threatening our food security and ecosystems worldwide. Furthermore, overfishing has resulted in bycatch, where non-targeted species are caught due to non-selective fishing gear. According to Greenpeace:

"commercial fishing kill as many as 300,000 wales, dolphins, and porpoises and about 100 million sharks."

By shopping smart, we can support costal communities without funding unsustainable fishing procedures like the bycatch and overfishing. We can achieve this through avoiding purchasing farmed fish, a process that contaminates the ocean floor and spreads disease to wild stocks. By looking out for and purchasing products with the blue Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label, we will be able to identify produce that has been certified as wild fish, or seafood from sustainable fisheries. This allows us to support the livelihoods of fishers who truly care for our oceans.


Educate and inform


By actively learning about the ocean's crisis, we are able to spread awareness on the impact our actions have, and what we can do to help. It is in the little things we change that we can have a large impact on the world and contribute to helping save the oceans.


If you are interested in politically responding to the ocean's crisis and wish to sign petitions against overfishing and other causes associated with overfishing, please visit this link.