June 8 is World Oceans Day, when the big fish we have to fry involves protecting our oceans and seas. So sea what you can do to help out!
A few times a year, I gather a gaggle of friends and we head down to the local beach. We stake out our claim of sandy beach space, lay down our beach towels, and spend the entire day making sandcastles and playing pass in the decidedly chilly Canadian waters.
However, whether we live in a bustling costal city or we vacation to some tropical beach town once a year, the ocean is important to all of us.
World Oceans Day
Back in 1992, Canadian representatives proposed an international day to recognize the importance of our oceans, seas, and the creatures that live in them, at the Earth Summit in Brazil. From that time on, June 8 became the day to remember our fishy friends and to work to keep their homes clean—though it wasn’t actually officially recognized until 17 year later.
Now, countries and communities all over the globe take part, hosting events and sponsoring activities that raise awareness about our oceans and show us what we can do to keep them clean. A quick online search can tell you what’s going on in your community this year.
Our oceans are important
Our oceans and seas provide a home for countless marine animals, including, of course, numerous species of fish and shellfish. And the easy accessibility of this huge, blue food source means that, overall, the deep blue sea is the primary source of protein for about 1 billion people worldwide.
Beyond that, the ocean is one of the best fighters we have in the battle against CO2. The phytoplankton living beyond our shores are responsible for absorbing huge amounts of this pollutant, converting it instead to more than half of the oxygen that we breathe.
Protect our oceans
Doing our part to keep our oceans clean can be quick and simple:
- Spending time at the beach? Make sure to abide by the old hikers’ proverb—“Pack in what you pack out.” Recycle any bottles or cans you bring along, pick up any food scraps that might have escaped, and throw out what can can’t be disposed of otherwise.
- Cut down on your plastic and foam. These two materials, while useful for storing and packing food, can get caught in the ocean and mistaken for tasty treats by any number of ocean-dwellers.
- Choose sustainable seafood choices. While fish is a delicious and heart-healthy option, make sure that your seafood choices have been harvested in an environmentally friendly way. The best way to do this is to check the packaging for the Marine Stewardship Council or Ocean Wise logos.
- Volunteer if you’re really interested. Most organizations that help promote clean, sustainable oceans are nonprofits that rely on volunteers to get their message across. Find one in your area and check it out!
Try some fish dinners that are good for everyone!
- Smoked Sable Fish with Cherry Sauce
- Salmon Cakes with Pineapple Salsa
- Grilled Halibut with Lemon Oergano and Olives