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Blue Recycling: How Reducing Ocean Trash Can Help Save Our Blue Planet

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Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but the oceans that inspired the name “Blue Planet” are under serious threat today.

What is Blue Trash?

Blue Trash is a term used to describe marine pollutants and contaminants with man-made origins, such as plastic, paper, metals, crude oil and by-products, etc. This debris flows into the ocean through streams, rivers and other waterways, as well as land runoff, overboard dumping, etc.

How Does It Affect Marine and Human Life?

Marine trash is a killer. Small debris is mistaken for food by fish, turtles, birds and marine mammals, blocking their digestive systems or choking them. They also get strangled or trapped by larger items floating in the water, such as six-pack drink holders or old nets.

Plastic waste accounts for over two-thirds of all manufactured material found in oceans. It decomposes at an extremely slow rate, but disintegrates into tiny particles that are swallowed by fish, birds and marine animals.

Hundreds of marine species are already at risk, and we might be next. Chemicals in plastic and crude oil products have been linked to birth disorders, cancers and weakened immune systems in humans and animals alike. When we eat seafood or swim in contaminated water, we’re ingesting these toxins as well.

8 Ways to Make Blue Recycling Part of Your Life

Blue recycling can minimize our impact on the oceans, and here are 8 tips to follow:

  1. Reuse Plastic Items – Plastic is everywhere, so reuse whatever you can. Use takeout containers as food storage at home and carry them for leftovers while dining out. Avoid buying bottled water, and refill bottles you already have.
  2. Recycle Your Trash – Almost 90% of plastic packaging never makes it to the recycling bin! Check the labels on bottles, jars and containers. Plastics marked PET or #1 are recyclable, but #2 and #5 may also be accepted.
  3. Buy Biodegradable – Instead of disposable cutlery and shopping bags, choose eco-friendly products. Shop around for biodegradable plastic products, which look and feel like plastic but are made with organic materials.
  4. Support Bottle Bills – Also known as container deposit laws, these encourage recycling among consumers, retailers and distributors. A deposit is paid while buying beverages and refunded when containers are returned.
  5. Clean Your Home – We’re talking about pollutants here, especially toxic cleaning products and chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides. Use organic solutions in your kitchen, bathroom, yard and garden. The oceans will thank you for it!
  6. Spread the Word – Most people don’t litter intentionally, but may not realize the damage it causes. Discuss it with them. If you notice litter, especially near beaches, pick it up and drop it into the appropriate bin.
  7. Join Cleanup Drives – If you live near the ocean, stay updated with shoreline cleanup drives and join in as often as you can. Also, consider organizing your own drive with family and friends, to de-litter a local beach or seaside paths.
  8. Go Green – Every step toward reducing your carbon footprint helps with Blue Recycling too. For instance, crude oil spills can be minimized if more people use energy-efficient lighting and rely on renewable energy sources!

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Author Bio

erichErich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipments can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog.

 

 

Alex Lewis-Dorer

Alex Lewis-Dorer is a 27 year old activist. Having watched The Cove during its initial release and learning about the capture practices and the dangers of captivity, she felt compelled to stand up and voice her concerns to others. Since then she has dedicated her time and energy to working towards educating others about ocean conversation. In 2012 Alex joined forces with Wendy Brunot to have a lone killer whale named Shouka, moved to an alternate marine park to be with other orcas. Following the news of a planned Beluga Whale import, Alex hosted a protest in Atlanta In July 2012 together with Free the Atlanta 11 and GARP which attracted significant attention to the issues behind such an initiative. Alex has also played a large part in being a strong voice against Marineland, Canada, holding a demo at the facility in May 2014 in honor of Kiska, Canada’s last captive whale. She has dedicated much of her time to bringing attention to Marineland’s suffering animals. She also voices her concerns over many other captive marine faculties and lends her hand on campaigns regarding this issue. Alex’s love is not limited to cetaceans – she sees the beauty in all marine life. She is excited to be part of the movement that will end captivity for all marine mammals. Alex is also a proud team member for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.

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8
Nov

Shark Finning: The Dark Side of Malaysian Paradise

Shark Finning: The Dark Side of Malaysian Paradise

by: Tommy Birn

the-coral-triangle

The Coral Triangle: Michael Rubenstein

Malaysia is well known for being one of the most biologically diverse countries on earth, ranking 12th in the world according to the National Biodiversity Index. It has more reef fish diversity than anywhere else on the planet, containing 37% of known coral reef fish species,

and managing marine protected areas that cover 248,613 hectares. Sipadan alone is home to hundreds of coral species and more than 3,000 species of fish.

Malaysian waters form part of the Coral Triangle, a 6 million km2 marine region that houses over 500 species of reef-building corals. This unique ecosystem holds tremendous importance to the world’s marine biodiversity, with more coral, fish, and critters than anywhere else on earth. It is also home to some 67 shark species, demonstrating just how significant this region is to the world’s marine ecosystems.

Threats Facing the Coral Triangle

shark-market-in-malaysia-1

Shark Market in Malaysia: Lawrence Belleni

While Malaysian waters, and the rest of the Coral Triangle, are critical to marine life, the area faces increasing threats from overfishing, community disruption, tourism, pollution, and climate change. Overfishing and shark finning are a big part of the problem. Sharks are particularly vulnerable to the situation due to the high demand for shark fins and certain biological characteristics including having few young, maturing late and having long life spans.

They play a vital role in the ecosystem, yet several shark species are facing a decline due to unregulated fishing. Some of the most commonly taken shark species in Malaysia, according to reports by SEAFDEC, include the Spadenose Shark, Brownbanded Bamboo Shark, Spottail Shark and Scalloped Hammerhead. They are typically taken by trawl and gillnet fisheries, as well as purse seine, longline, and others.

While Malaysian fishers do not officially practice shark finning, the evidence would suggest otherwise. Shark fins are still traded today since consuming sharks, or their fins are not considered illegal. The country has been a longtime importer of shark products and you regularly see sharks sold in local markets. So, not only are they contributing to the decline of local shark populations, but also of those further afield.

Just this year several images surfaced online, demonstrating clear evidence of shark fishing in Malaysia, including those that appeared on social media and those taken by Swedish divers. The shocking pictures showcasing carcasses and bloody waters in one of the world’s most famous diving spots will not do anything to help local tourism, on which much of the population depends on income.

The heartbreaking images clearly show the cruel practice taking place and something must be done to raise awareness of the issue and put pressure on the government to make the necessary changes to help conserve the shark populations in these waters.

massive-shark-finning

Massive Shark Finning: Rikke F. Johannessen

According to WWF-Malaysia, the real problem is that Malaysians don’t seem to care that much about sharks. Their relationship with them is mostly gastronomical or recreational, so many are more concerned about eating sharks, or at least their fins. Educating the local population will prove necessary to shift perceptions and bring about change.

The Need for Conservation

Conserving Malaysia’s marine biodiversity is of vital importance. It faces a threat from numerous sources and while the country has taken steps to improve the situation, more needs to be done to reduce shark fishing activities. There is a noticeable absence of laws that help to manage, conserve and protect sharks in the country. So long as no laws ban the practice, shark fishing and finning will continue to take place.

Seven species of sharks and rays have recently been classed as endangered and will thus receive better protection, yet not all sharks will enjoy the same levels of protection. With 67 common species often seen in the markets, it’s clear that sharks are continually fished incidentally or in mixed fisheries. Sabah is considering putting in place a blanket ban since it ‘s hard to protect only certain species from fishers who may not be up to speed on the protected species.

drying-shark-fins

Drying Shark Fins: Mohd Halimi Abdullah

Banning this practice is of critical importance, not only for the sake of the sharks but also for the economy that is so dependent on the marine ecological system that currently exists. People need to be aware of how their actions will affect their local community and future generations.

Malaysians should place shark conservation under state protection with a focus on expanding tourism around shark habitats since the Federal Government is currently making no attempt to improve the situation. Doing so will help to tackle the issue, conserving the environment without putting the local’s livelihood at risk.

About the Author:

Tommy Birn is a 37 year old dreamer who still thinks that words and good actions can change the world. He was born in Serbia, currently stuck somewhere in Asia, where he tries to explain how killing sharks just because of few spoons of soup is not something we should be proud of. He is also a father of two beautiful angels, passionate scuba diver and traveler.

Alex Lewis-Dorer

Alex Lewis-Dorer is a 27 year old activist. Having watched The Cove during its initial release and learning about the capture practices and the dangers of captivity, she felt compelled to stand up and voice her concerns to others. Since then she has dedicated her time and energy to working towards educating others about ocean conversation. In 2012 Alex joined forces with Wendy Brunot to have a lone killer whale named Shouka, moved to an alternate marine park to be with other orcas. Following the news of a planned Beluga Whale import, Alex hosted a protest in Atlanta In July 2012 together with Free the Atlanta 11 and GARP which attracted significant attention to the issues behind such an initiative. Alex has also played a large part in being a strong voice against Marineland, Canada, holding a demo at the facility in May 2014 in honor of Kiska, Canada’s last captive whale. She has dedicated much of her time to bringing attention to Marineland’s suffering animals. She also voices her concerns over many other captive marine faculties and lends her hand on campaigns regarding this issue. Alex’s love is not limited to cetaceans – she sees the beauty in all marine life. She is excited to be part of the movement that will end captivity for all marine mammals. Alex is also a proud team member for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.

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How-Deep-Is-The-Ocean-Infographic-by-The-Daily-Research
15
Jun

This Mind-Blowing Infographic Shows How Deep Underwater We Can Really Dive by David Babinec

Our planet’s surface is more than 70% water, with almost all of it forming our oceans. The same oceans that have been source of mystery and challenges since the dawn of humanity. We have looked over these waters, onto the horizon, always wondering what lies beyond. Maybe the edge of the world? With the Columbus and the age of discovery we bravely set out to find that, instead of the world’s end, numerous new and exotic countries await!

While we have managed to conquer the ocean surface in this modern era, with thousands of ships that skim over it with ease that our ancestors could only dream of, the dark deeps of our World Ocean are almost as unexplored as they ever were.

Think about it: We have explored a smaller part of our ocean floor than the surface of Moon and Mars!

Exploring ocean depths poses numerous obstacles that we find extremely hard to overcome. One of the most important is the crushing pressure that is present and rises rapidly the deeper you go, a woe of many an early submarine. Nevertheless, we pushed on, always trying to break records and do amazing feats, diving deeper and longer with each passing year. Current records for most of the diving categories are, frankly, mindblowing and awe-inspiring. I mean, human body wasn’t built to do that, how in the world do these people manage to pull it off?

In this spirit of discovery and always pushing the limits, here’s an infographic by The Daily Research with some cool and fun information on our diving achievements:

How Deep Can We Dive – Source

Alex Lewis-Dorer

Alex Lewis-Dorer is a 27 year old activist. Having watched The Cove during its initial release and learning about the capture practices and the dangers of captivity, she felt compelled to stand up and voice her concerns to others. Since then she has dedicated her time and energy to working towards educating others about ocean conversation. In 2012 Alex joined forces with Wendy Brunot to have a lone killer whale named Shouka, moved to an alternate marine park to be with other orcas. Following the news of a planned Beluga Whale import, Alex hosted a protest in Atlanta In July 2012 together with Free the Atlanta 11 and GARP which attracted significant attention to the issues behind such an initiative. Alex has also played a large part in being a strong voice against Marineland, Canada, holding a demo at the facility in May 2014 in honor of Kiska, Canada’s last captive whale. She has dedicated much of her time to bringing attention to Marineland’s suffering animals. She also voices her concerns over many other captive marine faculties and lends her hand on campaigns regarding this issue. Alex’s love is not limited to cetaceans – she sees the beauty in all marine life. She is excited to be part of the movement that will end captivity for all marine mammals. Alex is also a proud team member for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.

More Posts