Oceans: resources at risk

We all know the importance of the “blue gold”, the water on earth that is usable for quenching the thirst of human beings and certain animals. The importance comes from the little amount of freshwater present on our planet and, as you can hear form the linked video of a famous information designer, Angela Morelli, only 0,1% of water is more or less directly available for us. But not only this part of our “blue resource” is important. 

As time passes by, more and more seawater is in danger. Our big problem is the Climate Change, and we are our best enemies. We are driving our existence on a worrying path of climate crisis, through our industrial activities and day-to-day life. Another fact that probably everyone is aware of is the migration of fishes and other organism northward, escaping form warmer water. This migration leads to new mixes of species, causing modifications of predatory habits. The species not adapting die off. Just to give an example, it has been famous the case of an unexpected finding of died seagulls and fishes on the Peruvian coasts of Lima, exactly two years ago (see picture). It happened in May and Imarpe, the research unit for seas of the Peruvian Government, discovered the cause. Due to the shift of the sea temperature from a range of temperature between 14 and 17 °C to a level of 22°C, anchovies migrated to the north and the predators remained out of food. Once you have seen the pictures, as in many other cases, going on as nothing is happening is not possible. 
Also the vanishing of phytoplankton and algae is another problem, both more likely to be present in cooler oceans. But if they cannot supplement marine life, it’s easy to imagine the danger for the entire ecosystem. And what about the intense fishing activity? Again, just to give a simple and famous example, the redfin tuna (the Italian “tonno rosso”, the one that every time you find in your sushi or sashimi at the Japanese restaurant) is on the brink of extinction. Together with the overfishing, the human activates along the cost is causing the disappearing of the 80% of the fishes eggs up to 100 metres beyond the sea level. Fishermen get smaller organisms and the reproduction cycles get shorter.  What other bad new can we add? The other “hot topic” is the coral reef and I really suggest you to read this article about the “Reefs at risk” project. It gives you a clear idea on what the acidification is and where it takes origin. It’s not difficult to guess, but the idea is clearly represented and better described. 

“So, what can we do to stop this trend?” (as you are probably asking yourself). 

Taking inspiration from a Marine Life article called “10 Easy Ways to Help Marine Life”, I’ve made a list of some tips for all of us:

1) Eat eco-Friendly fish! 
Going vegan is the best solution for the environment, but there is always space for small steps in the right direction if you don’t feel ready for this change. Remember to eat species not at in danger and the ones that have a minimized impact on our planet. At this link to an Italian article, you’ll find all the 15 most famous species that we need to protect. 

2) Avoid the use of plastic
This polluting material gave birth to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a mix of thousands of garbage pieces and marine debris floating near the surface of the water and twice the dimension of Texas. It’s not the only one, we have five of these garbage patches scattered around the oceans. Use not-plastic bags and avoid things with big packaging. 

3) Lessen your "carbon footprint"
It’s the usual drill that can help marine life and the environment in general. Clink on this link and WWF will measure your currently carbon footprint and teach you how easily to improve. 

4) Be energy-efficient 
For example, you can be “fuel-efficient”:
-Reduce your speed when you drive: increasing the speed, the fuel economy almost disappeared. 
-Check your tires at least one a month, because when they are under-inflated, your car has to work more to keep moving.
-Clear out your car: the more stuff and more weight your car has to transport, the more fuel it needs.
-Shut off the air conditioner when not strictly needed and open the windows. Do the opposite when you are driving at the highway speed. 
-Simply don’t drive! Ask always yourself if the car-trip is necessary.

5) Take part to clean-up activities organised by a voluntary organisation and pick up the litter you find before it gets into the marine environment. 

6) Organise your diving trip and other excursions with a responsible agency.

7) Buy Ocean-Friendly Gifts as something that can be reuse. 

What we need is a change on how we approach every-day activities. It doesn’t stand anymore that we do not pay attention on our behaviour and on how we influence the existence of every earthlings. Think about your actions. Think about the oceans. Thinks about your responsibility on this threated world.   

Maria Carolina de Vera
Source for the second image: http://www.yeslife.it/moria-di-uccelli-peru-motivi-riscaldamento-del-mare-2443