5 Ways You Can Participate in Ocean Conservation

ocean conservationYou can practice ocean conservation right from your own home. Ocean degradation is driven by climate change. Climate change is brought on by excessive hydrocarbon emissions. If you leave your car at home one or two days a week by bicycling or ride sharing to work, that will reduce the emissions you create by 20 percent. If everyone did this, we could conceivably slow the relentless advance of global warming. When you’re not driving, be conscious of your energy use. You can switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, take the stairs, bundle up when temperatures drop, or use a fan when they soar.

If you make safe sustainable seafood choices it will promote ocean conservation by helping stop the depletion of global fish populations. Fish populations are falling rapidly due to high demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, shun species that are being exploited and choose seafood that is being fished responsibly. If you’re a smartphone user, there are several apps that can guide you in the right direction.

Reduce your use of plastics. Plastic that ends up as ocean debris kills tens of thousands of marine animals every year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in non-disposable containers, bring a cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible. This will end your participation in the trashing of our oceans. If we all did this, the production of plastic and their widespread presence would eventually fade out.

Don’t purchase items that exploit marine life. Some high-end consumer products are made from fragile coral reefs and endangered marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtle shells), and shark products.

ocean conservationBe careful about which products you buy for your pet. Read labels on pet food that you purchase and carefully consider seafood sustainability when choosing your pet’s diet. Never flush cat litter, which can contain pathogens harmful to marine life. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean because that can introduce non-native species harmful to the existing ecosystem.

Participate in International Ocean Cleanup Day. Each year volunteers remove more than eight million pounds of trash from ocean beaches. But you don’t just have to confine this activity to one day out of the year — plenty of oceanside communities arrange beach cleanup days on any day of the week. Better yet, bring a garbage bag on your beach day outings and simply collect any refuse you see.

Images via HikingArtist.comWorld Affairs Council of Oregon

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