Conserving the ocean for future generations is an important issue that people need to spend more time on. The ocean needs to be conserved so future generations can enjoy fishing, coral reefs, and water sports that they might not get an opportunity to enjoy if proper conservation procedures are not in place. Conserving the ocean seems like a very difficult task, so where should people start?
The best starting point is education. People need to know how they can help and what they are possibly doing that is harming the ocean. Education should start in schools, from parents, and from television shows. Doing this will at least give people an idea of the problems the ocean is facing and how those problems can be solved.
There are also some great organizations that can be donated to that take steps in educating people and help to conserve the ocean. These organizations are also a great place to get information about how to help with ocean conservation. It also comes down to doing the little things that can help as well. This includes things like eating fish that are not endangered, not using pesticides, and organizing a beach cleanup day. Doing these things are simple ways to help.
We get very attracted to nature shows about sharks, but there is often an underlying message about fishing and ecosytem harmony. Sharks feed on other fish that feed on smaller fish, algae, plankton. Sharks are at the top of the food chain, and their needs to be enough of each block below the top to have a good total system. While too many sharks in a reef will gobble up all the fish in a reef, having too many fishing operations pull too much fish out of an ecosystem that it cannot reproduce in enough time, not only drives up the price of future fish, but drives down the quality of the ocean.
If there aren’t enough algae-eaters to keep the reefs clean, they get choked out by algae and die. Then everything dies. Not just the reef but everything supported by the reef.
There are a growing number of sustainable fisheries in the world today, but they operare at their own increasing difficulty, needing to charge more to help cover the costs and catching fewer fish. There are some, like the sustainable reefnetting process of Lummi Island Wild off the coast of Bellingham, WA, that use solar-powered nets to catch ONLY the fish they are looking for, tossing back the strays. They can not only do this without the cost and environmental damage of fuel for the boats, but also keeping the fish alive in holds for longer, creating a fresher product. They even team up with the local Lummi tribe to employ their tribal members.
While the Lummi Island Wild example is an incredible one, we just have to have WAY more of this type of activity than we do today to bring the total costs in line and help conserve the ocean and edge today more sustainable fishing practices that keep the ocean healthier.