Thursday, 11 February 2010

Save Chagos Reef - petition

Just had a petition pased on to me that is quite important.

The Chagos Islands are an area under British jurisdiction in the Indian Ocean. It is home to a large coral atoll and amazing ocean life. The reef needs to be protected to ensure its long term survival and the safeguarding of all the life whom live on, or feed off such a beautiful area.

The petition is to try and ensure the area becomes a no take zone so that we can try and preserve this area of such outstanding beauty, however sadly there is a time limit -the petition must be passed onto the government by February 12th.

Please sign the following petition and browse the website for more information.

Thank you :)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Doing your bit for our oceans...

Apologies for not updating in a while - had a few problems with the account. Thankfully is now back up in full running order.

With many sea species in threat of extinction, I just wanted to post a little bit about what to do and what not to do - just some basics.

A lecturer once said to me that instead of trying to fight humans against nature, we must work along side each other. So when facing the problems which have become increasingly important in recent years, it is not enough to simply tell people to stop making mistakes, and instead we must take human actions into account when planning for our future.

The consumption of fish has been important for thousands of years. They have always been a good source of protein and have recently become even more important by eing labelled as a 'brain food', due to being a good source of Omega 3, as well as delicacies such as Blue Fin Tuna used in Sushi. But everyone by now knows that fishing is causing huge problems to our oceans and consuming the 3 pieces of recommended fish a week could leave stocks so depleated that many species could become extinct. Overfishing and fishing styles are mostly to blame for this terrible loss.

Scientists latest prediction is that fish stocks for many species could be exhausted by 2048 unless sustainable fishing comes into play. Although slowly changes are being made, the UK Marine Bill hopes to accomplish no fishing zones in order to give safe havens where Fish stocks can replenish themselves. Big supermarkets such as Marks and Spencer's and Waitrose have also promised to stop selling endangered species and instead sell more sustainable species like Yellowfin Tuna. But what will this really mean? Sadly, it is likely to mean that although there will be areas for fish to be safe, it will be our fishermen who suffer the greatest loss and although fishing techniques are largely to blame, we have to consider these people's livelihoods and futures. Other countries will not be participating and therefore some of the worst offending countries will still be continuing their detrimental practices.

So what can the evryday consumer do? Well, when choosing fish there are certain species you should try and avoid. You should also try to buy sustainable fish that you know comes from a good, fair source that is good for both the oceans and the fishermen - supporting local fishermen is even better. You can buy farmed fish, Salmon, Tuna etc. which may be more sustainable, however farmed fish does raise some other important issues (I'll raise that in another post though!)

The Marine Conservation Society has published lists of fish and seafood it is okay to eat and those to avoid. Sadly the list of species to avoid is longer!

Fish to enjoy -

Fish to avoid -

If you want to delve a little deeper, there are some wonderful texts currently available on the subject:

- Grescoe, Taras, 2008. 'Bottomfeeder - how the fish on our plates in killing our planet' A wonderful tale of Gresco's year-long trip around the world sampling many marine species and uncovering the destruction of our oceans.

- Roberts, Callum, 2007. 'The unatural history of the sea - the past and future of humanity and fishing' A look at the relationship between humans and the ocean throughout history, with more chilling conclusions about the future.

- Girling, Richard, 2007. 'Sea Change - Britain's coastal catastrophe' Focusing on Britain's behaviour with regard to the ocean. A fascinating and passionate account of our treatment of the coast.

- Bely, S and Bely, P, 2007. 'Do dolphins ever sleep?' This is a really nice book which answers basics and random questions on our seas, with topics such as animals, sailing, weather and basic sciecne. A fantastic text for people looking for basic information on our oceans.