Written by Monica Naranjo González
1- You’re a fish
Every breath you take comes from the ocean. Your life depends on the sea as much as any fish. It is mainly the oceans, and not terrestrial forests, that are responsible for producing the largest amount of oxygen that you depend on.
And that’s just one example of how the complex chemistry and biology of the ocean ensures your life: oceans control the weather, the temperature, the water cycle.
If you think that the amount of organisms living in the sea make no difference in the amount of oxygen that reaches your lungs, or the fresh water you drink, or the temperature that you enjoy now, you have to think again. The chemical balance of the ocean depends on the complex interactions that exist between all beings that inhabit it. If we alter the ratio of these beings we alter its chemical composition and thus we alter our own habitat.
So when you hear about the importance of protecting marine resources, do not think that it is because it comes from tree huggers or because it is ethically and morally right. It is because your life and the lives of everyone depend on the ocean.
2- Uncontrolled fishing is costing you money
This is important: the marine resources that are within our seas are public resources. This means that they are yours and everyone’s and the State has an obligation to manage them to our benefit. But they are being exploited privately without our government effectively monitoring how this is done.
Imagine someone arrives to the Metropolitan Park La Sabana and decides to start cutting down trees to sell the wood. That person would be using public resources for private gain. The same happens in our waters: we live without a law of navigation, without proper management of fishing activities, without knowledge of fish stocks, without traceability over the marine products we consume, uncontrolled unloading on our docks, etc.
And it will be you who has to pay the price when coastal communities do not have anything to survive, when we have no marine products for consumption, when tourists don’t come anymore to dive among corals and sharks, when the air we breathe looses its quality, when climate change worsens and when the rest of the consequences become present. We will all pay the price of the abuse and profit of a few.
3- The ocean is in trouble, and you can help
They just discovered water on Mars, but we are not moving there yet and we have to ensure life on our planet. Without a healthy ocean, it will not be possible.
The situation of the ocean is not difficult, it’s desperate. According to UICN, 21% of all mammals, 30% of amphibians, 12% of birds, 28% of reptiles and 37% of freshwater fish are threatened with extinction. 98% of hammerhead shark populations have disappeared, like 96% of the bluefin tuna.
But you can help. Use your voice, share the knowledge. Share information.