As a travel writer (what I like to call myself) it’s not just a choice but in a way my duty, to bring to people’s attention to not only the most beautiful things about the world and nature but also to the gruesome things about it. We all see the most beautiful part of the world when we travel and don’t pay heed to what is actually happening around us.
When we say “There is a deep interconnectedness of all life on earth, from the tiniest organisms to the largest ecosystems, and absolutely between each person”, it isn’t just a saying, it is very much true.
From the phytoplankton (which absorbs the maximum amount of carbon dioxide), tiny fish, the big fish and the giants of the ocean, everyone depends on each other and we, in turn, depend on them.
Here, on this post at least, I want to focus on the Oceans.
I’m not even a slight bit embarrassed or awkward saying that I am OBSESSED with the oceans and the vibrant ecosystem of the ocean. I wasn’t always so obsessed, it only happened when I first went snorkeling in Bali, Indonesia and then saw the series ‘Our Planet’ on Netflix just recently. My own father, who happens to be a certified diver has traveled to the most exotic places, dived and has told me wonderful stories of how beautiful marine life is.
The image above speaks volumes. We humans as compared to animals like Manta Rays are tiny. Mantas are possibly the most majestic aquatic animals, gliding along making no sound. These Mantas were part of a list of aquatic creatures endangered in a place called Raja Ampat in Indonesia. With constant and laborious efforts for the conservation of the animals, Shawn Heinrichs along with his team urged the government of Raja Ampat to pay heed to the disappearing populations of sharks and various species that are ONLY found in this region. Now, after several years, Raja Ampat is a diver’s heaven and the population of all aquatic creatures is booming here.
Raja Ampat is one of the live examples of letting nature be and bringing not only beauty but also balance in the ecosystems, and the fact that if left untouched and if restrictions are put on damaging nature, it can revive like never before.
Take for example the Great Barrier Reef, if we take major conservation steps and stop using it as a source of tourism for a while, we can restrain it from disappearing and taking away this natural beauty from future generations. We can work on bringing this natural beauty back.
The shallow waters are much more damaged than the High seas. The major reason being that the shallow waters are constantly flooded with people. The High seas remain comparatively untouched and it would be one of the reasons that the aquatic life here is completely different. From bioluminescent aquatic creatures to almost transparent ones. Till today, 80% of our oceans haven’t been discovered and mapped and we could only imagine what the oceans are concealing from the world right now.
Whales are killed on a LARGE scale in places like Norway and Japan, mainly because of tradition or simply as a delicacy. Changing traditions is a way of evolving, for the better. If people stop indulging in whale eating we can reduce the sales and then the killing. Having witnessed humpback whales in person, I can say definitively that they NEED to be saved from being further killed. They are the most graceful animals I have come across so far.
Here below are 7 ways you can do your bit to save the oceans.
1. Use plastic-free alternatives
An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—that’s roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into our oceans every minute. And plastics never go away!
We must urge companies to provide consumers with plastic-free alternatives and say no to single-use plastics such as straws, plastic cutlery, coffee cups, water bottles, plastic bags, balloons, plastic-wrapped produce, and take-out food containers.
2. Reduce your carbon footprints
Carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas, is making our oceans more acidic. This is contributing to the loss of corals on a global scale as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by adopting some of these simple measures:
• Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation rather than driving/using a car.
• Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
• Put on a sweater in the winter instead of turning on your electric heaters.
3. Explore the oceans!
“People protect what they love.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Get outside and explore the oceans around you! If you don’t live near the ocean, visit your local lake or river to learn how your watershed connects to the ocean. There are plenty of online opportunities to explore the oceans, too.
4. Leave nothing behind
As beach crowds increase, so does the amount of trash left behind or blown away. Don’t let your day outside contribute to the destruction of our oceans. Remember to leave nothing behind but your footprints — collect and dispose of your trash.
5. Share what you read with family and friends
Tell people what’s going on with the world’s oceans and what they can do to join you in making a difference. Spread the word about petitions.
6. Save the turtles and use metal straws!
7. Join Oceana
More than 800,000 members and activists in over 200 countries have already joined Oceana – the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Together, we’ve won over 200 victories and protected more than 4.5 million square miles of ocean. But there’s more to be done! Become an Oceana Wavemaker and continue your efforts to help save the oceans. As a Wavemaker, you’ll receive a monthly update on the latest ocean news and learn ways you can help protect marine life.
NOTE: The above points were inspired by Oceana.
𝕾𝖆𝖛𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖍𝖆𝖑𝖊𝖘, 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖙𝖑𝖊𝖘, 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖔𝖈𝖊𝖆𝖓𝖘.
Here below are a few organizations you can sign up onto and donate to support saving of the oceans:
- Our Planet
- Oceanic Preserve Society
- The Dolphin Project
- The Bahamas Plastic Movement
- Save The Whales
There are many organizations out there but these were the few that I follow. Here is where I end my post and I would really appreciate if you all could let me know if you do sign up to support this cause and what your personal views are.