One may ask, “Why should I care about the ocean since I live in Utah?”. While the blue horizon
may not be visible to us, our daily actions ultimately affect the air we breathe, partially derived from the ocean. Our 70% blue planet regulates climate and weather patterns, sequesters heaps of carbon dioxide, is an energy resource, and provides millions of jobs, food, medicine, recreation, and energy resources. Read on for ways to keep our oceans healthy:
- Buy Sustainable Seafood: Look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Blue Fish
label that identifies overfishing, conservation of essential and depleting fish habitat,
minimizing ‘bycatch’ and protected species and creation of prosperous fishing
communities. Currently, only 1/5 of all marine catch is MSC certified. Ask about the Blue
Fish label at restaurants and the grocery and download the Seafoodwatch.org guide.
- Support Ecological Farming Methods: Sadly, animal waste, fertilizers, and pesticides can
be washed into our waterways and eventually to sea through irresponsible farming
methods. Buy organic, learn where your food comes from (or grow your own), and ask
about ocean-friendly farming methods.
- Minimize Plastic Use: It’s estimated that by 2050 our oceans will contain more plastic
than fish by weight mainly from plastic bags, bottles, food containers and synthetic
fishing ropes. Microplastics affect the ability of marine microorganisms, including
essential phytoplankton, to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. A plastic-clogged
and warming ocean will hurt plant and animal life, and ultimately humans.
Our ocean is a powerful carbon sink and an economic and recreational paradise. Our lack of awareness could limit future generations in numerous ways. Let’s change that.
By Mary Closser