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You Can Be an Ocean Hero, No Matter Who You Are or What You Do

Source: The TerraMar Project - September 26, 2017 in Featured, TMP

You Can Be an Ocean Hero, No Matter Who You Are or What You Do
Photo: Ellmax

You don’t need to be Jacques Cousteau or Sylvia Earle to save the ocean, and you don’t even need to know how to swim!

You can help save the ocean by simply paying attention to news and information around you, and using your unique skills and expertise to join the fight to save the ocean and the creatures that call it home.

What are the headlines that you may be missing:

  • Climate Change is real and oceans are heating
  • Pollution is everywhere from plastic debris to chemical runoff.
  • Overfishing is taking too many fish and invasive species are disrupting ecosystems.

Photo: Ellmax

Not to take away from the importance of researching all of these issues to understand them fully and take effective action, but there is clearly enough evidence to agree the oceans are in trouble and we need to act NOW.

This is where you come in.

The ocean needs ACTION, which comes from marketing gurus and news reporters who can bring these issues to the mainstream and make people care.

The ocean needs innovators and inventors to come up with new efficient solutions to these problems, and financial wizards to help figure out a way to make the circular economy a reality.

Artists from film makers to those who work with a brush and everything in between have a vital role to play too.

We need people who can think outside of the box and capture the issues our oceans face in a creative way that makes people turn their heads.

Governments and businesses alike need to know that the ocean is not only vital to human life but that it also generates an enormous monetary value. It can take people out of poverty, give people jobs, and help stabilize huge populations of people. It’s not a problem to be ignored, but a solution to be explored.

The ocean needs educators and communicators who can take complex issues and break them down into a way everyone can understand. 

Are you someone who can turn business as usual on its head?

If you’ve ever wanted to bring meaning to what you do for a living, the ocean is calling out, all you have to do is answer.

Ocean Hero

Photo: Ellmax

The Arts

For people around the world to recognize that the oceans are in trouble, we first need to capture their interest.

Whether it’s artists like Washed Ashore who are using marine debris like plastic pollution and discarded fishing gears to curate massive sculptures of ocean creatures, or filmmakers and photographers who are diving beneath the ‘thin blue line’ of the ocean’s surface to show the world stunning visual displays of life underwater; art undoubtedly has an ability to help people ‘see’ in new ways. Look at the incredible work of Paul Nicklen, Cristina Mittermeier, Sea Legacy, or Brian Skerry and you will be blown away by the dangerous beauty of the ocean’s life.

Washed Ashore

Photo: Washed Ashore

Culinary Arts

A revolution is underway in the art of cooking and chefs are beginning to borrow techniques from the laboratory. If meatless hamburgers are winning awards from foodies because they cant taste the difference maybe it is time to focus on preparing fish that does not come from the sea.. why cant we make a tuna sushi roll not made from real endangered Tuna that’s equally delicious?

So if you’re an artist of any sort, whether you work using paint, print, food, sculpture, photography, videography, or even in clothing design, you can work with your medium of choice to bring awareness to the health of the ocean.

Technology

The problems facing our world’s oceans are occurring at a massive scale, and can be extremely complex. With the world’s population set to reach 9.7 billion people by the year 2050, mankind’s carrying capacity on Earth can only be supported by improved technologies, especially in the oceans.

The world needs physicists to harness the ocean’s powers and improve the capabilities and design of clean energy. And we need innovators like Reef Life Foundation who can discover new ways to help coral reefs adapt in a changing world against all odds.

Reef Life Foundation

Wind farm coral growth base. Image: Reef Life Foundation

We also need technological innovation in the ways we track species on Earth. For example, using computer softwares to identify individual ocean animals based on photographs taken in the field, such as the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program is woking on. Or using drones to collect DNA samples from the blow of a whale.

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is also one of the most powerful tools used today in Ecology. Who knows what the future holds in terms of technology and its role in saving the marine environment, the next big innovation could come from YOU.

Enforcement is also using new technologies to improve the tracking of fishing vessels on the high seas, in the efforts to fight Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing around the world. With new technologies, the high seas no longer need to be the ‘Wild West’ of the sea.

Lastly, one thing is clear when it comes to seafood. Aquaculture is the way of the future. And technology is a way forward in solving some of its problems. How can we make aquaculture more sustainable, and rely on less wild caught fish feed?

Business

Marketing and advertising have a massive influence through social media, and have a unique ability to determine social norms in places around the world. Environmental organizations need to be able to compete for the attention of the average person, and marketers and advertisers are key to this.

You could hold the key to saving the world, but if it isn’t marketed right, it could fall unnoticed.

On top go that, the circular economy is helping to make society more sustainable. If people around the world can find cost-effective ways to minimize the wastes produced by business operations, and recycle the materials used, then the circular economy can become a normality.

ocean hero

Photo: Ellmax

Eco-labels have a unique potential in today’s world. People, as they become increasingly aware of what’s going on around them in the way their food is produced, are demanding healthier foods. Consumers play a huge role in the systems that our world supports, and helping them make sustainable choices with their money has the potential to have a massive impact on large scales.

People today place a higher value on food that’s produced naturally versus in a mass slaughterhouse. I mean, what would you rather eat everything aside, a free-range chicken or a chicken that’s been cramped in a small space and pumped full of steroids? Sustainably caught fish render a high value with audiences today, and have the potential to change the way we catch our seafood.

Economists play a role as well. The world of fisheries is immensely complex. There are so many factors playing into how seafood markets fluctuate, and how governments analyze fish stocks, that the world’s economists should see this as a challenge. Fisheries management is a far more complex system than many other industries in the world, and affects more people than the majority of global industries.

One last example of the power of business and the free market in providing solutions for the marine environment lies in how we value the ocean, and incorporate this into business. Some areas of the world are actually implementing insurance policies to coral reefs for example. Because their value is so necessary for the local economy through tourism and fisheries benefits.

Real Life

Check out the new Netflix documentary Chasing Coral (it’s incredible!), the film brings the plight of our world’s coral reefs to the world’s eyes.

By capturing the process of coral bleaching in stunning video, and sharing this problem in a creative and engaging way with the world, these film makers were able to show everyday people who might have no direct relation to the sea this problem that affects us all.

And the most incredible part was that they begin the film with the story of Richard Vevers, a London advertising executive who wanted to make a real difference with his talents. He viewed the plight of the world’s coral reefs as an advertising problem and wanted to show the world what was happening out of sight.

Every person in the world has unique talents. And we all have different life experiences and backgrounds that shape us to understand the world in the way we do. So when it comes to saving the ocean, you can always manage to find some way to use your gifts for a great cause.

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