This is the second post for coral reefs awareness week! If you’ve not read the first one, check it out here. In this blog post I am going to share 8 ways to help coral reefs. You might think that you aren’t affecting them because you don’t live near them. But this is not true, all of our actions have consequences. The earth is one big ecosystem, with everything interconnected.
Buy sustainable seafood
Did you know that over half of the world’s fisheries are overfished?
How is sustainable seafood determined?
- Good fishing management that doesn’t have negative impacts on the environment
- Stable fish populations
- NOT overfishing
- Fishery practices that maintain the ecosystem
Buy seafood that has MSC and ASC labels or an eco certificate on it because the fish that are caught, have less of an impact on the environment. If it doesn’t say, ask. If lots of people ask and they don’t have answers which results in fewer sales, then they will do something about it.
The Marine Conservation Society have a list of fish that you should and shouldn’t buy, check it out here. This is so that endangered and vulnerable species are avoided as much as possible.
Don’t buy corals
If you really think about it, the coral that you are buying is the skeleton of the animal, so why would you want that?
To get the coral, people dredge the seas -> this is ILLEGAL! Dredging is where someone gets a massive net and pulls it across the ocean floor, it kills everything in its path. It’s the worst thing that a coral reef could have happened to them.
Just don’t buy corals. Simple.
Continue reading: 8 ways to help coral reefs
Another way to help coral reefs is to share posts on Instagram! Even if you only have a few followers, still share it because someone will read it and they might share it too. Furthermore, tell your friends and family about them and encourage them to learn more about them and why they are important.
Reduce your carbon footprint
The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the warmer the planet is. It warms the oceans and makes them more acidic. This leads to coral bleaching and if you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know how bad that is.
Having a greener carbon footprint should always be your goal. There are lots of different things you can do to improve it. There aren’t really any cons to being more eco-friendly.
A few ways to reduce your carbon footprint
- Eat less meat/go vegetarian or vegan
- Grow your own fruit/veg
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Walk instead of driving
Avoid fertilisers and pesticides
Did you know that even if you live thousands of miles away from reefs, fertilisers and pesticides will end up in the ocean? For example, lawn fertilizer will end up in the waterway system which connects to rivers, seas and oceans which are all interconnected and will reach sea creatures. Fertilizers/pesticides are toxic. This is why you should help coral reefs.
- Compost – creates humus-rich soil
- Crop rotation – different crops that you grow, will need a different amount of nutrients. By rotating your crops, you can let the soil recover.
- Wormery – they create nutrient-rich soil
Don’t touch the corals
If you are in the water with corals, do not touch them! They may look like a rock but they are living animals! We have a type of oil on our skin which means that if we touch them, we will kill them because the oil is toxic. Additionally, it prevents future growth. Coral reefs are amazing to look at and are so beautiful, but please do this from a distance.
Furthermore, if you do go snorkelling and you go with a brand/company, let them know how important reef conservation is to you and ask them what they do to conserve them! If they get asked enough, they’ll do something about it (that is if they don’t already!)
Volunteer at beach cleans
It’s great that you don’t litter, but picking up someone else’s litter is even more proactive! If you go onto the Marine Conservation Society, there is a list of beach cleans that are available throughout the year at multiple different places. (Also the official beach clean-up week this year is 18th – 25th September 2020). Obviously, it’s hard to go to an organised beach clean at the moment due to government restrictions but you could organise a small one with the people you live with/friends socially distanced.
I’ve signed up for two beach cleans but both were unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather. But since I’m going to Bournemouth Uni in September, I’ll 100% do one there, which I’m really excited about!
There are so many ways that you can educate yourself on coral reefs, here are a few of my suggestions:
- ‘Chasing Coral’ on Netflix – I watched it sometime last year when I was learning about coral reefs at college and it was really interesting and there was a lot of info on them, I would definitely recommend this if you have Netflix. I had to keep pausing to write down extra notes 😂
- ‘Blue Planet’ on BBC iPlayer – Blue Planet is such a great series! I mean, pretty much everything by David Attembourgh is amazing but specifically to coral reefs, this is something to watch.
- There are lots more documentaries about coral reefs and the ocean on Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Which way are you going to help coral reefs?
Best wishes, Cx