Blog: “Why join the navy, when you can be a pirate!”
Fast-forward a few years; my intrepid journey taught me that the world’s oceans produce 1 in every 3 breaths you take, they absorb about one third of our CO2 emissions, are a source of food and provide us with employment, energy and transport. The world’s oceans are of crucial importance for human beings, and yet they are under threat due to our activities. The current state of our oceans gives cause for great concern: 89% of the world’s commercial fish stocks are overfished (FOA 2016) and marine ecosystems are under severe pressure from global warming and pollution. Yet the oceans are our last refuge to feed our burgeoning population – 9 billion by 2050. This means that we are facing a double challenge. We have to halt the degradation of the world’s marine ecosystems at the same time as we increase ocean productivity. A task that almost seems impossible given our current track record and limited success – so if there was ever a time to be a pirate intent on disrupting the status quo and making a difference to our oceans, now is the time.
Instead of being someone who engages in environmental “panic” or refrains from “the sky-is falling” antics, be the rebel, who does not follow the latest trend of what’s hot and happening with seafood. You can be the pirate that fights the free market reality that pretends that our oceans are inexhaustible because if there is demand for a resource, there will always be a group seeking to exploit it.
So how does one become the outlaw that goes against conventional wisdom?
- Make the connection – our actions have far reaching consequences, if you litter, the litter blows into a storm drain and all drains lead to rivers, all rivers lead to the sea. The oceans have over 165 million tonnes of plastic floating around which is 25 times heavier than the pyramids of Giza - Blimey!
- Use your hard-earned doubloons to make bold and brave sustainable seafood choices. Use the WWF-SASSI app (www.sassiapp.co.za) to help!
- Be even more controversial and challenge retailers and restaurants on how sustainable their seafood is and bring a spring upon ‘er
- Avast ye, bring ye’ own, ditch the disposables, use a reusable cup, reusable shopping bags, sustainable straw, and use your own takeaway container
- All hands hoay by volunteering for beach cleanups and supporting WWF-SA, SASSI and aquarium initiatives and activities
- Shiver me timbers, speak up, no ... shout about unsustainable practices at retailers, restaurants and about ocean conservation issues
- Be a scallywag by avoiding toiletries with micro-beads and other plastic particles, or that are harmful to the environment