The coral reefs

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It might be because I live on an island, but the sea have always been very close to my heart. Nothing really compares to swimming in the ocean, to this feeling when you are diving and you watch the sun from under the water. When you see how the lights rays draw golden lines of light into the azure sea, you can’t help but to fall in love with the wonders created by Mother Earth.
I spent the end of last week at the seaside, being in the water as much as I can. I’ve been diving into Blue Bay’s marine park, a protected area in Mauritius where fishing is forbidden to protect the corals and fishes. I think that I’ve never swam with so many fishes ! When you were underwater, you just were in the middle of this big flock-like group of fishs : watch at your right, at your left, under your feet or above your head ,you could only see fishes everywhere.
I’ve been snorkeling at Blue Bay as much as I can in the last years. I’m happy to have seen that many different species of fishes last week while being there, and from what I’ve personally remarked the pollution of the lagoon , at least  from what I’ve saw  seems to have slowed down (yayyy ! ).
In front of all this beauty though, I couldn’t help to remember how much our oceans needs our help at the moment. Even if I’m happy to have witnessed so many wonders, I know that much is left to do to protect the oceans and it’s inhabitants.

I’ve always tried to keep myself informed about subject like this one, but it has been quite some time I didn’t really dive into the subject extensively. So, that’s what I did today. And I’d like share some infos, pages, stories […] linked to this topic that I found while wandering on the net today.

First,let’s focus on the coral reef, before focusing on other topic that could be linked to this subject ( like the Great Pacific garbage patch [ the name given to a 700,000 square kilometers to more than 15,000,000 square kilometers patch of garbage floating in the Pacific] for example ,we could actually really talk about a LOT on this topic ).

I’d like to add that : Everything in this world is interconnected, and I don’t think that as specie we can believe that what we do to other species and to our environment, won’t also affect us. That we can just go on about destroying the planet as we have been doing ( let’s face the truth, we really haven’t been good guests to our host the earth ) and believe that we won’t face the consequences of our actions (just in case you need a ‘good reason’ to believe that yes, protecting our coral reefs also concerns you). That being said I’d like to share with you this video I found that explore some of the threats the coral reefs face but also some of the reasons why coral reefs are important [It’s 5 min, and it’s really super easy to understand].

Some of the main problems that the coral reefs ,and the ocean in general faces are overfishing [ the overexploitation of fish stocks that can results in resource depletion, low biological growth rates, and critically low biomass levels ], pollution, climate change and acidification of the oceans.

[ To read more about the rising acidity of the ocean and how it affects the coral reefs : : http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/coral-reefs-in-danger-of-being-destroyed-1908544.html ]

I don’t like to ponder too much on the ‘what’s going wrong’, I find that staring at the solutions helps more,though if you want to read more on the damages our oceans encounters at the moment, feel free to do some more researches 🙂 I’m sure you’ll find some more stuffs, I just don’t think that giving you just a whole bunch of links on ‘what’s going wrong’ would tremendously help. Let’s dwell more on what we can do to help !

The more I read about what can anyone do to help with this issue, the more I realize that really there’s some simple stuff that we ALL can do to help ! Here I tried to mix many of the lists I’ve saw on the topic  ‘what to do to protect our oceans’ [ I included a link to the original articles though, so you can also read it to have more extensive information. Learning more about a topic and becoming more informed is already a first step toward helping with that issue].

Learn more about what you eat when it comes to seafood : where it comes from, if this specie is not in a critical state because of overfishing, the fishing techniques used [ some fishing techniques are truly more destructive than others] […]

– If you smoke, carefully dispose of your cigarette butts. Do not leave it on the beach or in the water [I’ve personally witnessed someone doing that just some time ago] as they are dangerous for sea life ! Not only the filters contains harmful chemical ,some of the wildlife also mistake it for food and eat it; as they are unable to digest it they sometimes die from an accumulation of cigarette butts in their stomachs.

-Plastic. Just as the cigarette butts, a lot of wildlife can confound plastic for food and die from an accumulation of it in their stomach, they can also be trapped by the plastic objects. Using less plastics [- > uses re-usable stuffs! ] also helps the oceans and it’s inhabitants.

Clean up a beach ! A lot of plastics and other trash end up on the beach and in the sea, so why not organizing a beach clean up ? Or it could be just as simple as cleaning up the trashes that you see around you next time you go to the beach, even if it’s just one or two metals cans that you cleaned up , it’s still two metals cans that won’t end up in the sea !

-‘The change in ocean temperature, acidification (from absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide) and melting sea ice all disrupt marine ecosystems leading to harmful algae blooms, decreased fish stocks and the death of important organisms like coral and shellfish.’ So, yeps, reducing your carbon footprint also help the oceans, be it taking your bike instead of your car, using energy-efficient appliances or eating local.

Says no to chemicals. You wouldn’t think that something like cleaning your house with chemical product would affect the ocean right ? But eventually, your drainage water will end up into the sea. And theses chemicals have catastrophic effects on the sea and it’s wildlife.
‘household cleaners often contain volatile organic compounds that can lead to harmful algae blooms; chlorine bleach is highly toxic to fish; motor oil contains heavy metals that can end up in the fish we eat.’ .
Try to look for Greener alternatives 🙂

Do not buy products from endangered marine species .

– When snorkeling or diving, never touch the reef! Corals and other animals are fragile . And when boating, be careful about where you anchor.

There’s a lot more to talk about this topic,  but I think I already wrote quite a lot here. Keep an eye for another post on the subject soon though !
Have an amazing day,
Vic’

[ Ressources :
http://universe.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=71209
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/healthy-oceans-blog/2013/08/seven-things-you-can-do-every-day-to-protect-our-oceans/
http://www.oceanfdn.org/newsroom/oceans-and-climate-change-
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/marine-reserves/Things-you-can-do/
http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/how-you-can-help-ocean
http://blueocean.org/what-you-can-do/
– and a a cool glossary that can help understand more the “technical talk” about the oceans.:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/seafood/glossary/ ]