For far too long, we have taken the ocean and its seemingly limitless bounty for granted. We’ve overharvested its resources, sanctioning the use of supertrawlers and other unsustainable forms of fishing. We’ve treated it as a dumping ground for our sewage, refuse, plastic waste and other forms of pollution. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re now contemplating mining the deep seabed, potentially opening a Pandora’s Box of problems that we can’t even begin to understand.
It’s worth taking a moment to remind ourselves why we should care about the ocean. It produces half of the world’s oxygen and stores 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. It regulates our climate and weather patterns. It feeds billions of people and supports the livelihoods of 12% of the global population. It’s a rich source of medicinal products that treat ailments as diverse as cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Until now, our relationship with the ocean has been a one-way street. We urgently need to change that dynamic and start to give something back.
Without wishing to be too prescriptive, here are some top tips to set you on an ocean-friendly path.