We challenge you to try these simple steps to help ensure thriving oceans for the future. Humans need healthy oceans to survive and healthy oceans can only be saved with human help.
Fish are a healthy source of protein and buying responsible seafood supports the livelihoods of fishermen around the world. However, global fisheries are on the verge of collapse. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), three quarters of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or only recovering from overexploitation. Carry a sustainable seafood card or download the app, the SASSI app in South Africa or the Seafood Watch app in the USA and ask your seafood restaurant or fish market to buy from sustainable fisheries. Look for special terms like “pole caught”, “diver caught” or “sustainably harvested”.
Eating seafood doesn’t have to be damaging to the ocean. Before you eat a fish know his name (accurate seafood labeling), his old neighborhood (fish population status changes by region) and how the rest of his family is doing (health of the fish stock).
Remember that trash we “throw away” doesn’t disappear. And moving water—whether waves on the beach, the stream running through your neighborhood, or rainwater flowing toward the storm drain—can carry loose trash to the ocean. Plastic in the ocean entangles and poisons marine life. Bring a trash bag with you on your visit to your favorite beach. 10 minutes of service to cleanup makes everyone’s fun in the sun brighter. Feeling ambitious? Volunteer to host a beach clean up for I AM WATER at your favorite waterway.
Ditch the disposable lifestyle. Make a point to use reusable bags, beverage cups, and food containers. When you must use disposable items, reuse or recycle them whenever possible. Carry a refillable water bottle and fork in your backpack or purse so you’re always prepared. Say no to straws! Plastic straws are one of the top five ocean trash items and easily get swallowed by ocean animals.
Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is making our oceans more acidic. One consequence could be the loss of corals on a global scale, as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water.
Try these simple things to reduce your energy use – and carbon emissions – and live a more green/ blue lifestyle.
Ride a bike, walk, carpool or use public transportation on your way to work and school. Install high efficiency appliances in your home. Try drying laundry on a clothesline or rack instead of in the dryer. Turn off and unplug appliances when they aren’t in use. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your house. Turn up your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter.
Learn about companies’ environmental policies and buy only from those that promote green – and blue – practices.
Don’t buy items that exploit oceans or fragile marine environments such as shark cartilage supplements, coral jewelry and tortoiseshell accessories.
If you take fish oil supplement pills, substitute healthy flaxseed oil instead.
Good rules and regulations are essential to ocean health. Speak to community leaders about your concerns and questions.
Lobby your legislators about important issues like ending harmful fishing methods, setting tougher safety standards for oil spills, monitoring pollution in streams and on beaches, keeping shoreline development in check and many others.
Exercise your right to vote and stay involved after Election Day.
The first step in making a difference is learning about the ocean and how your actions have an impact. Become an I AM WATER ambassador; use your knowledge to educate others. Inspire curiosity by sharing water experiences with friends and family.