Global Challenge #14 – Life Below Water
“ Healthy Oceans and seas are essential to our existence”
Seas and oceans cover 70% of our planet. We rely on them for food, energy and water yet we have managed to do tremendous damage to these resources. Its extremely important that we protect these precious resources by eliminating pollution, control over fishing and responsibly manage and protect all marine life across the globe. Life below water must be a focus as a global citizen.
- Global trends point to continued deterioration of waters mainly due to pollution and eutrophication (a result of run-off from land which causes plant growth and deaths of wildlife due to lack of oxygen)
- 16% of all major marine ecosystems are placed in a “high” or “highest” risk categories for coastal eutrophication
- Shelled molluscs, reef building corals and man shelled or skeletal organisms face a high risk of weakening shells due to high levels of ocean acidity, caused by major shifts in the carbon chemistry of the water
- The proportion of world marine fish sticks within sustainable levels has declined from 90% in 1974 to 68.8% in 2013
- Trend appears to be slowing but is still at dangerous levels
- Large fishing operations using a technique called trawling drag a net across the ocean floor, catching and depleting massive stocks of fish, and destroying the under water habitat
- Recent studies show that millions of fish that are caught go unreported
- This poses numerous challenges for small scale fisheries in competition, pay, employment and legitimate access to fish
- 70% of European Union members have introduced regulations, poliices and laws aimed to help small fisheries and stop the spread of unsustainable, overfishing practices
Here are some examples of existing products or initiatives which aim to help protect our oceans and water masses:
Saltwater Brewery: Compostable Six Pack Holder
A craft brewery in Florida created an edible six pack holder out of wheat and barley waste, designed to feed animals instead of killing them. It is in response to an estimate 1 million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals or ocean species are affected by plastic waste every year.
Catalina Sea Ranch
Off the coast of California, the first ever “Sea Ranch” has been launched. It is an offshore aquaculture that responsibly “farms” sea cultures. Mussels, Oyseters, Sea Urchin are among many of their “crops“. Responsibly farming these animals in open water it a safe way to meet demand while not putting pressure on existing fish stocks or using harmful fishing methods.
The Ocean Challenge
When effectively managed and well resources, marine protection areas are an important safeguard to preserving ocean life. Protected areas now cover 5.2% of the global marine environment, a number which we would like to see increase in the coming years. Use Prepr and our PIE kit to help make a solution and save life under water.