whale fishing

Why Should I Care For the Oceans?

We’ve all heard it:

“Why does it matter if we overfish tuna? It tastes so good!”

“If the oceans dried up tomorrow, why would I care? I live 500miles away from any body of water!”

The thing is, without the oceans, we would all be dead. Our planet would probably look like Mars. There would be no freshwater, no food for us to eat, no suitable climate for us to survive.

(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Whether you live by the coast, or only see the ocean once a year on holiday, the ocean has an impact on your life. Every breath you take, every food or drinks you have… is thanks to our oceans. Every single individual and living being on this planet is deeply connected, and extremely dependent upon our seas.

The oceans regulates climate, weather, and temperature. They act as carbon dioxide ‘sinks’ from the atmosphere. They hold 97% of the Earth’s water. They govern our Earth’s chemistry; all the microbes and microscopic organisms at the very bottom of the food chain support our own existence. The oceans are also crucial for our economies, health and security.

(Photo credit: Brian Skerry)

The past generations have been raised with the idea that the ocean is huge (and it is) and resilient, and that we could basically take from or put into the oceans as much as we wanted. Now, we found out that we cant go on this way. This mentality is part of our problem and it needs to change.

While we have made tremendous discoveries about the oceans over the last few decades, we have also caused more destruction to the sea than ever before. Many fisheries stocks are overfished, catastrophic fishing techniques are destroying the habitats and depleting populations, many marine species are on the verge of extinction, coral reefs are dying, pollution run-offs from agricultural farms are creating dead-zones where nothing can grow or live, millions of gallons of oil have devastated the Gulf of Mexico, bigger and faster container ships create noise pollution for marine mammals and endangers them…The list goes on, and on. We have had so much impact that we have actually changed the pH of the oceans! 

Pretty overwhelming, uh? 

So yes, you should care, because if the oceans crash, we as a species are crashing with them. The entire planet Earth will be gone. And if that’s not enough of a wake-up call for you, I don’t know what else could be!

While all the current marine conservation issues appear huge and insurmountable, there is still hope. Each individual can make a difference now. YOU can make better choices about which fish to consume (or not at all!) and ask about the way they were caught or raised, YOU can encourage sustainable fishing practices, YOU can decide not to use fertilizer or pesticides in your backyard, YOU can bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store and stop using plastics, YOU can stop using products with microbeads, YOU can participate in beach clean-ups, YOU can start your own research and discover even more awesome things about the oceans… YOU can spread the word to your skeptic friends! Have people follow in your footsteps; inspire your friends and family. Be the change :) !

(Photo source: Flickr)

“If you want to have an impact on history and help secure a better future for all that you care about, be alive now” - Sylvia Earle

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Whale shark swims by, Cancun, Mexico

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3 drawings I did, illustrating the impact our fish-eating is having on the ocean and its inhabitants.

What is the true cost of your sashimi? More than 300,000 whales, dolphins & porpoises die every year as a result of being caught in fishing gear and nets.

What’s the true cost of your tinned tuna? Fishing nets kill 160,000 seabirds annually. 26 species are now threatened with extinction

What’s the true cost of your fish & chips? 50 million sharks are killed as by-catch in commercial fisheries every year.

What’s the biggest bony fish in the sea? The mola mola, or ocean sunfish! 

This one was spotted in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Mola molas spend time basking on their sides near the surface, with their pectoral fins flapping in the air. Have you spotted one while visiting your sanctuaries?

(Photo: Maps for Good/NOAA/Point Blue/ACCESS)

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Whale Shark Sighting West Palm Beach (4/9/17 )

At the end of our dive on the dive site known as “The Trench” off of West Palm Beach, Florida we had the encounter of a lifetime! 

My wife, Brittany, our niece Addie, and our Dive Guide Craig Buss from Pura Vida Divers were the last 4 divers in the water ascending from approximately 60’. This whale shark graced us with its presence for approximately 1 minute, in approximately 30 feet of water, surrounded by nearly 100 remora’s and 20+ cobia’s.

via: kbscubadiver

10 Reasons Why Orca Whales Should NOT be at Seaworld (Or Any Marine Park)

  1. In the wild, orcas swim up to 100 miles a day. They are confined into a small tank in captivity. 
  2. Their collapsed dorsal fins (pictured above) are a sign of an unhealthy whale. All male orcas in captivity have a collapsed dorsal fin. Less than 1% of orcas have this condition in the wild.
  3. Orcas do not live up to their nickname “killer whale”. There has not been one incident of an orca killing a human in the wild. However, in captivity, orcas have killed 3 humans and injured 151 reported injury incidences.
  4. On average, orcas live up to 50 years old in the wild. Some females have been reported to live 80-100 years old. Seaworld’s average orca life span is 13 years old.
  5. Family is important to orcas. In the wild, their pods include generations upon generations of their family. Marine parks do not keep their families together. In fact, babies are taken from their mothers. This is psychologically traumatizing to the whales. 
  6. Whale fights are common in the tanks because they are not in their pods and they are, literally, mentally ill. In a tank, whales can’t flee from fights like they can in the wild. These whales get brutally injured and sometimes killed by other whales in the tank.
  7. Pods have their own languages. In a tank with other whales who have different languages. Imagine living with somebody who speaks a different language with you and you cannot use hand motions. Frustrating right?
  8. Not only are the tanks in marine parks WAY too small for this wild animal, in the wild, marine mammals live in a habitat full of MANY other marine plants and animals. In captivity, they live in a cement, chlorinated tank.
  9. Since 1961, 141 whales have been captured. 125 of these whales have died.
  10. The brain of an orca is 4 times larger than the human brain. It has been confirmed their intelligence matches to ours, if not more.

Just imagine living in cement room with a few other people who don’t speak your language. Imagine not knowing if you will ever see your family again. Imagine being forced to do performances for others and being fed one thing for the rest of your life. Imagine being confined in a cement room when there is a whole world out there to explore.

So, how can you help? It’s easy! boycott sea world. Without the revenue, they are forced to shut down their business. Also, education is important. Remind the public of what is going on.