April is Earth Month, so let’s talk about the freaking ocean. Overfishing, toxic chemicals, rapid sea ice loss, and so many more doomsday factors are leading to the extinction and endangerment of sharks, rays, and fish species all over the world. If not us, then who will fix this?
The global decline in marine population is one of the most urgent environmental crises of our time, and not enough people are talking about it. In the past 40 years alone, there has been a 52% decline in global marine populations. That’s less than HALF a century, what could happen in the next fifty years if action isn’t taken? Here at Shark OFF, ocean conservation is at the forefront of everything we do. From compostable packaging to donating 10% of our proceeds to Ocean Voyages Institute, we want to use our platform for the good of our world.
Everything in the ocean is connected and balanced, so as species are endangered, other species are also heavily affected. It’s a vicious cycle of overfishing, bycatch (the animals that are killed from being caught in a net and not used by the fishermen), and starvation of predatory species losing their main food sources. If nothing is done to stop this aggressive overfishing, the entire marine population could become extinct by 2050.
So let’s talk solutions! A recent study is showing that if we just focus on protecting thirty percent of the ocean, the fish populations could restore themselves by 2030.
“Humans often destroy marine ecosystems, but our study shows that with strong laws and careful stewardship, we can also restore them, causing wildlife numbers to surge.”
––The Center for Biological Diversity’s Shaye Wolf.
So how can you personally help to stop overfishing? Start by being a conscious consumer and look for sustainably caught fish at your local fish counter or grocery store. This really goes for all meat and dairy products. Having a vegan diet to lower your carbon footprint is great, but some research says that just being aware of where your products are coming from (and shopping local) can be even more effective. In addition to this, a well placed donation can go a long way (see list below). Need something else to do? Talk to your SENATORS! Write letters, knock down doors, and rally together. We can change the world, and save the ocean!
NRDC – https://www.nrdc.org
Ocean Voyages Institute – https://www.oceanvoyagesinstitute.org
Marine Stewardship Council – https://www.msc.org