Our planets’ bodies of water aren’t just awesome for swimming, fishing, sailing and diving- they actually KEEP US ALIVE! What are we doing to help life below water? Well, not much. So far, we are doing more harm (like marine pollution and overfishing) than good. But there is still time to change this and become a champion for Goal#14!
Don’t thank Aquaman
Did you know that half of the oxygen we breathe comes from algae? Also, oceans absorb a large amount of the carbon dioxide released by humans- they are probably doing more than most humans for climate action!
Humans have and still do rely on the oceans for food and livelihood. Tackling the effect of human activities on life below water does not mean stopping all activities, but rather choosing more sustainable practices and methods as we move forward.
Who’s the villain?
Oceans are under great threat by climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution. If you already know what these issues are, head over to the videos and materials section for current examples. If not, we’ve broken them down for you:
Climate change harms life below water because change in water temperature affects they change the natural migrations (paths) that fish take, destroy the small amount of coral reefs the earth has left and even increases the acid in the waters!
Fishing itself is not a problem if it is done in a sustainable manner. Overfishing happens when we fish WAY MORE than sea life can replenish itself.
It is most likely that each of us has consumed a piece of plastic that eventually ends up in the ocean. BUT, it is not only plastic- marine pollution involves toxic chemicals, offshore drilling and basically everything that we humans do that disrupts the natural order of life below water.
Beyond the straw wars
If we want to continue benefiting from lakes, oceans, seas and rivers then we NEED to stand up for life below water. In 2019 so far, there have been massive campaigns against single use plastic. Companies like Starbucks are banning straws and millions of teens have already taken part in the #trashchallenge spending their free time cleaning beaches. However, we can always do more and find better ways to hack this goal!
Head over to the materials to find out how you can make a difference under the sea!