What if you learn to take care of the oceans during your vacation? This is possible with the computer graphics published by the NOAA (the American agency for the study of the oceans) which gives you 10 tips of consumption or behavior to adopt to minimize your impacts on the marine resources. Useful holidays at the seaside (it’s good, the school holidays begin!) But also at home, it’s an opportunity for us to adapt these tips of common sense.
How to protect the ocean on vacation: 10 tips
Choose fish from sustainable resources
As we told you in a previous article, it seems that this is the end of a few years from the marketing of species from deep-sea, such as the Blue Ling or the Grenadier de Roche. But how to find one’s way in the jungle of the appellations and the origins of the fish marketed? By doing as for fruits and vegetables: favor proximity. Do your shopping at a fishmonger, you can ask him for information about his products, or the market. Avoid aquaculture from Ecuador, South America or Asia. Do not hesitate to consume your whole fish purchased, not in frozen fillets. Agree to pay for your fish or oysters at the right price: you are certain to cut corners on quality by cutting costs, and it is a whole sector that lives behind. Finally, labels such as MSC do not indicate a small-scale fishery but provide information on the origin and sustainability of the fishing method.
It goes without saying, and it is the case to say it! By using less water you limit discharges into the environment. Few people know this, but it’s especially true when you’re on vacation in coastal areas: water treatment plants often can not absorb all the effluents of a population multiplied by 10 or 20 in the summer period. Minimizing its water consumption, therefore, makes it possible to distribute the treatment capacities of these treatment plants as efficiently as possible.
Help with beach cleaning
Why not lift your sleeves during a walk? Plastic waste does not wait for the end of the tourist influx to come aground. Similarly, the over-frequenting of beaches during holidays generates an impressive amount of waste. Do not think that the sea absorbs what is left on the beach: it will reject your butt or your bottle during the next tide. Take away your packaging, bottles or food debris, biodegradation may take several months and is not an excuse! Finally, use a portable ashtray if you smoke. This way the beach will stay clean for your next tanning session and you will save yourself a future ban on smoking all over the beach! Do not hesitate to bring back the rubbish left by previous occupants, they are never safe from being swept away by the wind or the sea.
Do not offer coral (or other memories of the sea)
Regarding the coral, this is particularly for those who go to Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean. Too often sellers are always on the run, offering all sorts of souvenirs, from dried fish to hang on the mirror to the coral branch to live aquarium fish. Do not buy it, it’s forbidden by law and you will not go through customs. Similarly for shark teeth (other than plastic!) Or shells such as Lambis, present throughout the Caribbean and protected because overexploited.
Use energy-saving bulbs (LEDs or Fluocompactes)
Here it is consumer’s common sense that comes into play: these lamps have a longer life, consume up to 80% less energy than an incandescent lamp and are recyclable. By saving energy you limit the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, and therefore the phenomenon of warming and acidification of the ocean. Indeed, the sea traps the CO2 present in too large quantities in the atmosphere which has the effect of acidifying the water masses, which prevents the development of the calcareous skeleton of corals and other invertebrates or mollusks.
Do not touch or pick up underwater
What is obvious for the coral is also for the marine resources present on our coasts. At the school, children are taught not to move the rock on the foreshore, this part of the coastline discovered at low tide. This instruction is also applicable in diving: in this way, you preserve the habitat of species useful for fishing on foot and you avoid the possible resuspension of pollutants trapped under these rocks. Of course, the same is true for recreational fishing: respect catch limits for seashells as well as fishing bans posted on the beaches. They are there as much for the safety of the consumers as for the respect of the resources.
Practicing pleasure in a responsible way
If pedestrians along the coastline have ever wondered about the presence of mooring buoys off certain areas, it should not be the same for sea users: very important, they allow to anchor your boat without anchoring and thus preserving the seabed. Particularly true in the Mediterranean where Posidonia, a seagrass and not an alga, is in danger of extinction because of wild moorings, it is the same in Brittany where seagrasses are protected for their vital role of the nursery. Moorings in unauthorized areas propagate Caulerpa (Caulerpa taxifolia), an invasive species that stifles endemic vegetation throughout the Mediterranean Basin. It is therefore vital if you offer yourself an offshore getaway to inform you about where to spend the night.
Do not use chemicals in the garden
Legal obligation for individuals in 2019, it will be in force in 2017 for public spaces. Only products known as “biocontrol” used in organic farming will be allowed. Why such a ban? Because a large part of the pollution with pesticides found in the river is due to the gardening of individuals, who use too many products and without precautions. Of course, what ends up in the river ends up at sea and disturbs the ecological balance … As well as the quality of the bathing water. So, just as soon as you get up to speed and stop using this chemical weedkiller or this anti-slug: Bordeaux mixture, copper sulfate, and nettle manure have been known for centuries and are just as effective.
Learn about species and marine biodiversity
In the summer of 2013, all the internet was making fun of this American who, having fished an octopus in Greece, tasted it without suspecting that he was holding an extremely rare species in his hands. Of course, this kind of misadventure is extremely rare, but our coastlines are full of vulnerable species: Abalone, Poot-Foot, even the famous scallops are subject to a regulated fishery to preserve the resource. Learning about them certainly makes it possible to shine at family dinners but also to consume them in a responsible way and to educate to their protection. “We only protect what we know” according to a well-known adage: to know the ocean is also to protect it!