Our Blue Planet
“My ocean.” That’s what one in all my professors from faculty had on his license plate. That’s what he taught; that even in the midst of upstate New York, even in Kansas and Germany and Paraguay and Chad, folks ought to care in regards to the ocean. It’s your ocean. You’ve got the facility to maintain it clear and defend its wildlife.
Possibly you might be fortunate sufficient to go to your native aquarium, go snorkeling or scuba diving close to a barrier reef, or have a home by the seashore. However do you consider the ocean as your ocean?
Lengthy Seaside Island is sort of a second residence to me, and I incessantly consider that stretch of barrier island as my very own. It’s the place I fell in love with the ocean; strolling in Edwin B. Forsythe Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, seeing osprey searching within the ocean, watching pelicans dive for fish, swimming amongst cownose rays, and cheering for dolphins driving the waves. As I bought older, I had marine experiences around the globe, increasing my horizons, each actually and figuratively, and I started to think about the ocean as my ocean.
I spent a whole summer time in Hawai`i working with the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), swimming with extra turtles than I might rely, studying to determine extra fish (with the craziest names) than I might think about, and dealing to advertise marine science that’s having an impression on ocean conservation. I additionally went to Belize on one other whirlwind marine journey. I used to be on Glover’s Reef with a gaggle of volunteers helping in shark and stingray analysis and for per week we went out on the water every single day to hand-line for bait and in the end discover and tag sharks. The volunteers got here from all walks of life and we snorkeled, marveled on the range within the patch reefs, and had been fascinated watching reef sharks hunt stingrays from the tops of reefs.
Irrespective of the place I journey, one factor stays the identical— our oceans are in hassle.
Hawaiian monk seal mother and pup (left) and Hawaiian inexperienced sea turtle (proper) — each species affected by marine particles and entanglements.
Marine particles is without doubt one of the main threats to our oceans, and it results in locations the place there aren’t even any folks. Take the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The islands act like a comb in the midst of the ocean currents circulating within the Pacific, simply raking and catching all the plastic, glass, rubber, and random gadgets that find yourself within the ocean. NOAA sends groups to those uninhabited locations to take away all the traces of human rubbish they will discover, however extra all the time finds its technique to the shore, and birds, marine mammals, turtles, and fish are injured, usually to the purpose of demise, after ingesting plastic or changing into entangled in (usually derelict) fishing gear.
Entanglement in fishing gear poses the deadliest menace to the North Atlantic proper whales’ survival. With fewer than 450 left within the ocean, and no recognized calves born this 12 months, these whales are in an more and more powerful spot.Defenders is a long-time member of the Atlantic Giant Whale Take Discount Staff, and we’re working to forestall entanglements by pressuring the Nationwide Marine Fisheries Service to implement efficient and modern options.
Marine particles and entanglements are solely two of the issues going through marine species. Shark finning is one other lethal menace to the inhabitants of the ocean. It entails catching sharks, hacking off their fins and tails — often whereas they’re nonetheless alive — and throwing them again within the water. Unable to swim, the sharks then bleed to demise, starve or drown. Yearly, 73 million sharks are killed for his or her fins within the grotesque observe. The recognition of shark fin soup as a delicacy has led to the mass slaughtering of many various species of sharks and stingrays. Defenders advocates all around the world for conservation measures defending these nice ocean predators. On the Convention of the Events to the Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12) in Manila, Philippines, we had a significant success in securing protections for migratory sharks and rays!
Glover’s Reef Atoll, Belize
I do consider the ocean as my ocean. I consider the ocean as our ocean. And our ocean is in hassle. It’s a part of my obligation, our obligation, to guard it and the lives that depend on it. Simply as trying to the tip of the ocean is unattainable, understanding the place I’ll find yourself all through my life isn’t predictable. What I do know is that I’ll battle for my ocean, your ocean, and our ocean. I’ll battle to guard every little thing the ocean represents to me, my childhood and my experiences within the nice outdoor, and all the life that lives within the sea.
You may assist us flip the tide for the ocean. Even small adjustments, like refusing to make use of a plastic straw or retaining a reusable bag with you, can add up and make a distinction for marine wildlife. I shall be marching on Saturday, March ninth, within the inaugural March for the Ocean, alongside my fellow Defenders and ocean legends like Dr. Sylvia Earle, Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, Carl Safina, and Danni Washington. I hope that you’ll be part of us!
The March for the Ocean is in regards to the survival of our blue planet. But it surely’s additionally about the truth that it’s not too late to show the tide — to revive and defend what we love. March for the Ocean — for water — for our future and say NO to offshore oil testing, leasing, drilling and spilling; YES to company accountability for plastic air pollution; NO to plastic and different types of ocean air pollution; YES to defending our coastal communities; and YES to a wholesome ocean and clear water for all — not least of that are all the unimaginable species that decision the ocean residence.
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