Together, we can protect the oceans

Small initiatives can make a difference. Lots of small initiatives can make a big difference. Together, we can safeguard the oceans and seas from further pollution and help preserve critically endangered animal species. Reduce plastic waste as much as possible. Sort and recycle, support good initiatives. Join up and save the sea!

Here are some recent positive stories reported in the media:

– The Ocean Plastic Project from Ecover: clean dishes and a clean ocean

Ocean plastic is an enormous problem, not only for our oceans, but also for every sea, lake and river on our planet. The plastic is broken down into tiny plastic fragments known as microplastics, which are highly undesirable food for fish and other sea life. And … plastic in our fish means plastic in our food. Plastic is toxic; plastic can wipe out entire species of animals. The less plastic in our oceans, the better: for fish, for people, and for everything else that lives above or under the water.

Ecover agrees. That’s why it’s raising awareness of ocean plastic, and trying to find ways to reduce or recycle it. The first step is its ‘special edition’ washing-up liquid bottle, the “Ecover Ocean Plastic Bottle”, made from 100% recycled plastic, of which 10% is ocean plastic.

– Ban on plastic bags in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, even small grocery stores are now required to offer reusable bags for purchase, or paper bags for a10-cent fee, instead of free disposable bags. The aim is to reduce waste at the landfill, in waterways and in the ocean.

– This edible blob of water could replace plastic bottles

How can we solve the growing problem of plastic waste? Three Spanish design students have invented an ‘edible water bottle’. The designers, Rodrigo García González, Couche Guillaume and Pierre Paslier, have called their creation “Ooho,” a jelly-like membrane which seals in the water like a bladder. Feeling thirsty? Just poke a hole in the membrane and drink. The membrane, made from brown algae and calcium chloride, is edible, hygienic and biodegradable.

– Lights on fishing nets to help save turtles

To reduce the number of sea turtles caught in fishermen’s nets, American marine biologists tried attaching small LED lights to the nets. The lights are visible to many species of turtles, but invisible to most fish. In their experiments, 40 percent fewer green sea turtles were getting caught in the nets, but the yield from the fish catch was unaffected.

– Whales no longer getting stranded in Canary Islands after sonar ban

Back in 2004, large numbers of whales were becoming stranded and dying on the coasts of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Whales react very sensitively to sonar equipment. We now know that this makes the animals panic and affects their dive behaviour. This causes pain to the whales, which is comparable to the decompression sickness experienced by divers who come up too quickly. Since the ban on the use of marine sonar devices in 2004, there have been no mass strandings of whales in the Canary Islands. It was the right decision. Hopefully other countries will follow Spain’s example.