Yesterday was World Oceans Day. Many of us were moved to share a link about saving the oceans via social media. Then, we moved on to the next item that caught our attention. Most of us have done nothing to harm the world’s oceans directly. We didn’t let loose a skyscraper-sized amount of oil into pristine waters. We haven’t destroyed the sea bottom looking for halibut. We haven’t disturbed delicate sealife. We haven’t killed scores of birds, turtles, or dolphins while fishing. We’re consumers, you and I, so what can we do that will positively impact the world’s oceans? We can do much more than we realize. Here are just a few ideas that will help make World Oceans Day, and every other day, more powerful than ever:
- Be more selective about seafood when ordering in restaurants or while shopping at the supermarket. Ask your server which seafood choices on the menu are sustainable or ocean friendly. Similarly, ask your supermarket fishmonger the same question. You may feel a bit pushy at first. You may get blank stares. But if you and I spend our seafood dollars selectively, if we insist on ocean-friendly seafood, restaurants and supermarkets will get the message. Directed dollars and persistance will make the difference for the world’s oceans.
Apps for World Oceans Day
- Download one (or more) of several free phone apps that help you avoid red-listed seafood and to select sustainable, ocean-friendly fish and shellfish. The hardest part about ordering or shopping for sustainable seafood is knowing how it was caught. Get help with this by downloading the Seafood Watch App from Monterey Bay Aquarium. Its highly informative app helps to steer you away from seafood caught in a way that harms the world’s oceans and/or non-targeted sealife, such as green turtles, birds, dolphins, etc. The app is interactive, allowing you to share your sustainable seafood finds so that others know where to find them too. The MSC App by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) leads you directly to sustainable seafood products by identifying brands and retailers. These apps are my go-tos for finding sustainable seafood, but there are others available through iTunes and Google Play.
Eating for the World’s Oceans
- Take a pledge to eat for healthy oceans. David Suzuki, scientist, broadcaster, and Discovery Channel star, and his foundation have pledged to “make sustainable seafood easier to understand.” Each person pledging can access recipes, tips on finding in-season sustainable seafood as well as information to become a more informed consumer.
If you only take one of my suggestions, do something today for the future of the world’s oceans. I welcome your ideas as well. Have you done something to make a positive difference for the world’s oceans? What tips do you suggest?