Marine and Wildlife Guidance
Here at Route YC, we all love being by the sea, and we are not alone – in fact according to the Marine Conservation Society 77% of people who visited the sea in the last 12 months said they felt happier and 81% of people said they felt healthier when they were by the coast and sea!
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Unfortunately, there are some equally scary statistics highlighting the danger our marine environments are in. The UK has lost up to 92% of its seagrass in the last century. Every year between 8 and 13 million tonnes of plastics enter our ocean. Globally, some areas of our ocean now contain six times more microplastics than plankton!
So, what can you do to help us to protect our Marine and Wildlife?
Here's 10 simple things you can do to help protect Marine Habitats:
1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption
Reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean by leaving the car at home when you can and being conscious of your energy use at home and work and in holiday accommodation.
2. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood Choices
Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable.
3. Use Fewer Plastic Products
Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in non-disposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible. #RefillRevolution refill.org.uk
4. Help Take Care of the Beach
Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Go even further by encouraging others to respect the marine environment or by participating in local beach clean-ups.
5. Don't Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life
Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.
6. Be an Ocean-Friendly Pet Owner
Read pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. Never flush cat litter, which can contain pathogens harmful to marine life. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water, a practice that can introduce non-native species harmful to the existing ecosystem.
7. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean
Many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a national organization like The Sealife Centre, and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, join up with a local branch or group and get involved in projects close to home.
8. Influence Change in Your Community
Research the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.
9. Travel the Ocean Responsibly
Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard and be aware of marine life in the waters around you.
10. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life
All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vital system, the more you'll want to help ensure its health---then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.