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10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans

Environment  (tags: environment, endangered, pollution, protection, oceans, destruction, nature, mercury )

- 1946 days ago -
Oceana has compiled a list of suggestions for green - dare we say blue? - lifestyle choices that can help preserve the oceans for future generations.

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Dee C (229)
Friday January 25, 2013, 7:12 pm
1. Join Oceana

More than 500,000 members and e-activists in over 150 countries have already joined Oceana - the largest international organization focused 100 percent on ocean conservation. Become a Wavemaker here.
2. Vote responsibly. Contact your representative.

Electing the right public officials is essential to good ocean policy. Do your research and make an informed decision. Exercise your right to vote and stay involved after Election Day. If you have concerns or questions, contact your representative. Take action.
3. Eat sustainable seafood.

Global fisheries are on the verge of collapse. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), three quarters of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from overexploitation. Carry a sustainable seafood card and ask your seafood restaurant or fish market to buy from sustainable fisheries. Look for special terms like "line caught", "diver caught", "sustainably caught" or "sustainably harvested.
4. Reduce energy use.

Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is making our oceans more acidic. One consequence could be the loss of corals on a global scale, as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water. There are many simple ways you can reduce your energy use. Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation. Use high efficiency appliances in your home. Turn off appliances when they aren’t in use. Turn up your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your house. For more information, see
5. Use reusable plastic products.

Plastic debris in the ocean degrades marine habitats and contributes to the deaths of many marine animals. Because floating plastic often resembles food to many marine birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, they can choke or starve because their digestive systems get blocked when they eat it. Help prevent these unnecessary deaths—use cloth grocery bags and reusable water bottles.
6. Properly dispose of hazardous materials.

Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly. This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Be sure to dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way.
7. Use less fertilizer.

When fertilizers are used in gardening and agriculture, the excess eventually ends up in the ocean. One result is a “dead zone”—an area with very low levels of oxygen in the water—the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico during the spring and summer. Since all marine life requires oxygen to live, including fish and shrimp, they must flee the area or die. Many other coastal areas are at risk too. So, use fertilizer sparingly and remember more is usually not better.
8. Pick up garbage and litter near beaches.

Much of the plastic and debris found in the ocean has its beginnings in beach litter. As beach crowds increase, so does the amount of trash left behind. Don’t let your day at the beach contribute to the destruction of our oceans. Bring a trash bag with you for your garbage and volunteer for beach clean-ups.
9. Buy ocean-friendly products.

Avoid products produced through unsustainable or environmentally harmful methods. For example, avoid cosmetics containing shark squalene and jewelry made of coral or sea turtle shell. These products are directly linked to unsustainable fishing methods and the destruction of entire ecosystems.
10. Share with a friend.

Tell people what’s going on with the world’s oceans and what they can do to make a difference. Spread the word and join the conversation with us on Facebook and Twitter.


Bill K (4)
Friday January 25, 2013, 8:11 pm
typical of Oceana as they still choose to ignore the damage done by meat. animal agriculture is one of the major sources of ocean pollution, and the fastest growing. fertilizers, chemicals, and erosion are creating large ocean dead zones, such as are occurring off of North Carolina due to their hog farms and in the Gulf due to animal agriculture pollution flowing down the Mississippi. going vegan is one of the best things an individual can do to save the oceans, including boycotting all seafood. even sustainable fisheries cause destruction to ocean floor habitats and bycatch deaths and what is considered considered one year will soon be overfished due to demand. the oceans simply cannot support 7 billion people eating fish.

penny C (83)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 1:46 am
Thanks Dee.

Carol M (16)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 7:11 am
Strange that the profile signup requires a US zip code when they cover Europe, Central, South and North America. hmmm.

Shane C (3)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 3:34 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Wim Zunnebeld (144)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 7:29 am
Noted, thx

Michela M (3964)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:03 am

Kay M (347)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:14 am

Malgorzata Zmuda (199)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:29 am
Dzięki, staram się.

Tania Koshman (7)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:20 am

Svetlana B (20)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:37 am
Noted Thanks Dee

Tim C (2420)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:44 am

Ro H (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 11:32 am

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 12:05 pm
I love Oceana but unfortunately they aren't a registered charity with CRA here in Canada, so no tax claim. Since I'm just a working stiff and can't afford to throw money away I wouldn't get a tax receipt. Oceana and Forest Ethics was kind enough to put me onto Tides Canada which is doing the same type of work here. So thanks because we're after all on the same team. When it comes to getting rid of the factory farms I agree with Bill K. Prior to their creation there was never the problems we have today. I have no intention of going Vegan. If you want to more power to you and enjoy.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:17 pm
Bill K, you are absolutely spot on. The organic vegan diet is the only solution to ending ocean acidification, dead zones, pollution and waste of fresh water, depletion of forests and aquifers, death to Earth Mother, death to her children of every species, death to that which sustains all life here. Some scientists and researchers say that we have ten to twenty years before the water runs out and everything is gone and so polluted nothing can survive. The diets of meat eaters create 7x the greenhouse emissions as the diet of vegans.
Nearly half of all water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for human food.
It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.
1 pound of wheat takes 25 gallons.
You'd save more water by not eating one lb of meat than you would by not taking a shower for 6 months.
A vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day vs. meat-eating diet which requires 4,000 gallons per day.
Animals raised for food create 89,000 lbs of excrement per second, none of which benefits from the waste-treatment facilities human excrement does.
Chicken, Hog, and Cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states.
Raising animals for human food uses 30% of the Earth's land mass. That's about the same size as Asia! The moon has less area than that, at 14.6 million sq miles.
More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals. Corn destroys to intestines and stomachs of steers and cows. GMOs and pesticides, whether sprayed or systemic, are destroy bees/pollinators, soil, air, human and animal health, and corrupt organic crops.
The equivalent of 7 football fields of land are bulldozed every minute to create room for farmed animals.
Livestock grazing is the number one cause of plant species becoming threatened or going extinct in the U.S.

Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:51 pm

Perhaps the greatest threat of all in the ocean, water pollution is among the leading causes of death and disease for both human and marine life. From oil spills to plastic waste, from chemical fertilizers to sewage, the byproduct of human disposal has made a deep impact on the health of the ocean. Below are the two biggest pollution problems:

Oil Spills..

The Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill represents the world's most immediate threat. Nearly five million barrels (185 million gallons) worth of oil poured out into the water following an ocean rig explosion over three months before it was finally capped off. Though the oil stopped leaking out back in July, the effects continue to this day. Thousands of animals have been found dead as a result of the spill while many other species remain at risk due to the toxicity of the crude oil. Cleaning up all the excess oil and protecting wildlife remains the biggest priority among Atlantic Coast oceanic organizations.

Point Source Water Pollution

This type of pollution refers to any kind of contaminant fed directly into ocean water, discharges from oil refineries or sewage plants being prime examples. Coral reefs and fish species close to shore are threatened by such waste, and in heavily polluted areas, fish become hazardous to eat when caught by anglers. Non-point source pollution refers to anything put into the ocean indirectly, like storm water runoffs from agricultural fields or urban centers.

Dead Zones

Areas of water where there is little oxygen available for fish and plant life to develop are commonly called "dead zones." This phenomenon occurs when an excess of chemical nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorous, build up much greater than normal. With all those nutrients floating around, phytoplankton population grows at an alarming rate (algal bloom), which in turn soaks up more oxygen in the water. The greater the bloom, the less oxygen is available for fish species, resulting in either mass emigration or death in the case of slow-moving sea life that can't get away in time. These zones can range in size from as small as a square kilometer (0.4 mi²) to an unbelievably huge 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 mi²).

Dead zones are mainly created because of those non-point source pollutions mentioned above, especially by chemical fertilizers that seep into the oceans. As fertilizer run-off builds so too do the nutrients, and the only life that appreciates it are the phytoplankton. Dead zones are therefore, unsurprisingly, more frequent around densely populated coastlines. Right now, the most infamous dead zone is the Mississippi River Basin, covering an area about the size of the state of New Jersey.

Dead zones do not have to stay dead, however. The Black Sea used to be the biggest dead zone in the world, but as recently as ten years ago economic problems limited the use of expensive fertilizers, indirectly bringing life back to the sea and the creation of a sustainable fishing industry.

Invasive Species

Humans aren't the only ones who threaten the oceans. Many non-native species find a way to get around the ocean - often attached to shipping vessels - and make a home in an ocean environment they weren't meant to settle down in but end up thriving in anyways. Though not all invasive species are bad - like the Asian shore crab in North America -some can be downright deadly to local ecosystems. A growing problem in the Atlantic Ocean is the recent emergence of the lionfish, a problem species that is much deadlier than its pretty appearance would suggest. Armed with several venomous protruding spines, this colorful fish has found its way into the Atlantic and has become a nuisance. Because the Atlantic was not meant to house this species, lionfish have no natural predators (mainly big sharks) like in the Pacific, and have therefore been able to grow in numbers. Lionfish affects the fishing industry as they have been known to feast on small species such as sea bass, grunts, and snappers. A large-scale reversal of the invasive species is unlikely, so keeping the population in check will depend largely on prey recognizing the lionfish as a threat, and for some Atlantic-native predator to adapt to eating lionfish.

Harmful Commercial Fishing Practices

Trying to catch a fish with a rod-and-reel and a single hook is a lot less damaging than a boat casting off and anchoring a set of line 15 kilometers long with tens of thousands of baited hooks attached, as seen in the Bering Sea. Long lines, despite recent technological advancements, risk catching marine life outside the target species. In Hawaii, long lines were banned for a time due to accidental catches of endangered loggerhead turtles. The practice has since started back up with safer hooks, however.

Long lines are actually fairly safe compared with some of the other practices used. Gill nets have been a source for environmental outcry for decades. These nets, which drift in the water, trap fish by their gills as they get stuck in the holes and can't back out. This net was often used to catch tuna, but the United Nations put an international ban on the practice in the early nineties due to the high ratio of inadvertent capture and killing of dolphins. However, gill nets can be legally used within 200 miles of a coast depending on a nation's own laws.

Bottom trawling is another harmful practice as nets are often used to scrape along the sea floor to catch bottom-feeding fish and crustaceans, damaging coral and other seabed life. Even when the net is raised above the ocean ground, nets can trap species not meant to be caught. Many countries have placed bans on trawling but it remains a highly popular form of commercial fishing throughout the world.


Even when using safer methods of catching fish, there runs the risk of hurting fish populations. Much of the 20th century had little to no fishing regulations in place, allowing commercial fishing industries to catch as much as they wanted. Without strict regulations, a fish's population can decrease to the brink of extinction and may never fully recover.

The best example of overfishing in North America is with the Atlantic Cod, a once proud fishing industry in Eastern Canada. The fish were once so populous that in the mid 1600's explorer John Cabot remarked that you could catch cod with something as simple as a fishing-basket, let alone a net. After centuries of harvesting and increasingly better technology, a moratorium had to be put in place in 1992 as the species' population dropped to near extinction. To this day that moratorium is in place, with very limited summer fishing allowances for recreational angling.

No hazard is more dangerous to fish than improper fishing techniques by humans. With regulations followed by law-abiding anglers, fishing can be done responsibly so that populations can thrive. However, the demand for fish food, like tuna and salmon, can pressure commercial fishing industries to harvest in irresponsible way to get enough supply. Even worse, fish and other marine life that are endangered remain targeted despite being threatened.


Every year, fishing nets kill up to 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises around the world. Fishing nets pose the greatest threat to the survival of many species. In fact, some fishing practices destroy entire habitats, as well as inhabitants. Bottom trawling is a fishing method that drags heavy metal chains across the ocean floor, destroying ancient deep-sea coral forests and other delicate ecosystems.


You may believe that we saved the whales in the 1980's. But Japan has been using a loophole in international law to conduct "scientific research" on whales for years. Each year, the Japanese government slaughters 850 minke whales. This year, they have announced plans to expand their "research" to kill 50 endangered humpback whales, and 50 endangered fin whales, in addition to their usual minke slaughter.


Past Member (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:52 pm
What an interesting list, I think this site offers a great compliment to the shared points:

Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:54 pm
"Livestock grazing is the number one cause of plant species becoming threatened or going extinct in the U.S."

That is not true..ranchers today have developed grazing systems that to help improve the forage production for livestock..and at the same time it is beneficial to the land..

Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:57 pm
There are far too many negative factors that pollute the ocean that even if half the world became vegans it would not help to stop it..

Jane Mckenzie (20)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 2:13 pm

Mary C Perry (1)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 2:40 pm
Looking at and being by the ocean is my favorite pasttime., yet I get nauseous reading about more and more trash building up in our beautiful seas and I think we need to pressure cruise line, U.S. Navy, freighter companies, and just regular boaters and beachusers to not use the water for a trashbin. It hurts our sea life and the whole ecosystem. Remember once it is fully contamminated...that is it! We need to tell others and spend some time ourselves writing to all the big corporations who use the waterways to make sure they enforce strick rules while at sea!

Christeen A (369)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 2:48 pm
Thank you. Good ideas for everyone here.

Sandi C (98)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:08 pm
thanks for sharing.

Diane K (134)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:38 pm
Noted, thanks Dee

Sonny Honrado (5)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 5:21 pm

Aletta Kraan (146)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:25 pm
Thank you , noted !

Kara C (15)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 7:01 pm
Don't forget just don't throw rubbish into water or storm water drains! I find and fill a plastic bag every other day in the tiny patch of canal behind my house, it is disgusting!

Winn A (179)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 7:24 pm

Patricia R (13)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 8:49 pm

Colleen L (3)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:24 pm
Good information. I'm trying my best, and will continue. Thanks Dee

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Monday January 28, 2013, 1:25 am
The world's human waste goes into the oceans daily. Just imagine how much crap 7 billion people make each day.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Monday January 28, 2013, 3:51 am
Thanks Dee. Great post and comments.

Bill K (4)
Monday January 28, 2013, 5:25 am
You're right, Dee... partially. There are too many sources of ocean pollution. But the fact remains that animal agriculture is one of the leading sources, as well as the sole cause of many large dead zones. According to the Pew Oceans Commission it's also the fastest growing source.

According to the EPA animal wastes from US farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined. Livestock generate 130 times more sewage in the US than humans do yet none of it is treated.

Ranching and grazing do not help the land. They hurt it. According to the US General Accounting Office more plant species in the US have been eliminated or threatened by grazing than by any other cause. Cattle grazing turns lush prairies into monocultures of crops, mostly invasive species, and eventually deserts. Where grazing is eliminated biodiversity increases dramatically.

Then there are the rainforests and the biodiversity lost there due to the world's gluttony for meat. One acre of rainforest is cut or burned every year for every meat eater in the world to provide more land for grazing and growing crops to feed the world's population of livestock. Even the US needs to import meat and feed to support our demands.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of soil erosion. In addition to the silt it washes into our waterways it also washes in untreated animal sewage, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides (animal agriculture is responsible for 80% of all pesticide usage in the US).

As for overfishing, one-third of all the fish caught are fed to livestock.

Going vegan is the best thing an individual can do to benefit our environment and oceans to have the most impact. So many things depend on government or corporate action. But what you eat today is up to you.

Eating meat and calling yourself an environmentalist is like saying you are concerned about energy consumption but you drive a Hummer. The only difference is your Hummer doesn't do as much damage as your meat.

Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 7:25 am
Bill K..
Don't know where you are getting your information from but it is not correct..It is however pushing a vegan lifestyle..Which is fine if that is what one wishes to be..But it is not for everyone and I really dislike when vegans get on everyone and try to make them feel responsible for the plight of things like the ocean..

John Gregoire..
That is awesome..


Bill K (4)
Monday January 28, 2013, 7:35 am
Dee, that's exactly what Big Oil, Dirty Coal, Monsanto et all say too whenever anyone tries to push a clean environment on people too. A clean environment isn't for everyone either.

Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 7:46 am
That is so ridiculous Bill..No one has ever said "A clean environment isn't for everyone either. "

There are certainly those out there that just don't care..selfish greed makes them uncaring..but no one ever said that..That was truly just plain silly..

This is about ways to help the ocean..Not a vegan lifestyle..Being a vegan will not ever save the world..
That too is just plain silly to even suggest..


Bill K (4)
Monday January 28, 2013, 8:01 am
I never said being vegan would save the world. But the fact is animal agriculture is a major source of ocean pollution and going vegan will do more for the oceans than the list Oceana supplied. Oceana has often defended the fishing industry even as the best modern fishing methods destroy underwater habitats, kill bycatch, and overfish a plentiful species till it also becomes scarce. If you pay attention to what defenders of the industries I mentioned (and others) say many of them have said that they believe either that the earth can clean or sustain itself no matter what we do to it or that it's God's will when it can't. Whether they believe this out of greed, ignorance, or hate is irrelevant.

As for you saying you don't know where I got my information you mustn't have even read what I wrote as I cited many of the sources. They are well respected and credible.

If you care about the oceans you can't leave the massive damage animal agriculture and the seafood industry do to them out of the discussion.

Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 8:41 am
I don't see any "links" to any of your comments here..And again your comment saying that animal agriculture is the number one source of pollution is not true..

Livestock facilities, such as dairies, swine, and poultry farms, "can" be a source of water and air pollution in EPA's Pacific Southwest Region and around the nation. This Web site describes the pollution problems associated with animal feeding operations (AFOs) and improper animal waste management, and the efforts of EPA and its state partners to prevent this pollution in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada.

I have listed the worst causes of ocean pollution from also from a few others..

It is not the animals being is when the animal waste is improperly stored or used..There is a simple solution for that..

Also from the EPA,,

Benefits and Costs of AFOs

A strong livestock industry is essential to our nation's economic stability, the viability of many rural communities, and a healthy and high-quality food supply. However, the growing scale and concentration of AFOs has contributed to negative environmental and human health impacts. Pollution associated with AFOs degrades the quality of waters, threatens drinking water sources, and may harm air quality.
Animal Waste and Waste Management

By definition, AFOs produce large amounts of waste in small areas. For example, a single dairy cow produces approximately 120 pounds of wet manure per day. The waste produced per day by one dairy cow is equal to that of 20-40 people. If properly stored and used, manure from animal feeding operations can be a valuable resource. Applying manure to land can be an environmentally sound approach to fertilizing fields. Manure can also be used in digesters (machines which decompose manure and capture the methane gas emitted) to produce electricity, and other useful by-products such as ethanol. However, if not managed correctly, the waste produced by AFOs can pollute the environment – especially water.

So yes..pushing a vegan diet here is nonsense..And you did say that it was the best way to save the ocean..And that is not true..

Bill K. (53) Friday January 25, 2013, 8:11 pm

"going vegan is one of the best things an individual can do to save the oceans, including boycotting all seafood. even sustainable fisheries cause destruction to ocean floor habitats and bycatch deaths and what is considered considered one year will soon be overfished due to demand. the oceans simply cannot support 7 billion people eating fish."

There are far too many things that are causing far more damage and the lists above that I have posted.shows that clearly..

Ruth C (87)
Monday January 28, 2013, 10:25 am
I agree with you Bill K.

Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 11:36 am
It's fine to agree with being a vegan Ruth....Its just not going to save our oceans..

There is too much going on that is destroying them..And I want to see that change..I know I will do all I can..and hope others will too..


Melania Padilla (122)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 12:27 pm
Many things are missing in this list by Oceana, thanks for posting.

JM A (176)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 7:22 pm

gabriela v (172)
Sunday February 17, 2013, 4:59 am
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