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Why the Marine Conservation Society is important to me

A screenshot from our Environmental Awareness Training course.

I’ve been at iHASCO for over 9 years now and there’s a lot that I love about working here. However, the recent announcement that we’ll be supporting The Marine Conservation Society has made me particularly happy, as it’s a cause for which I feel very strongly.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to travel the world, touring the world’s oceans and observing the varied marine life. Having the opportunity to see whales, sharks, and dolphins (and much more besides) in their natural habitat was an experience vastly different to seeing them in captivity – and one which will stay with me for a very long time.

The impact my trip had on me was profound, instilling me with a renewed admiration, appreciation, and love for the natural world. But it also made me aware of the incredibly damaging effect we – as a species – are having on the world’s oceans. If we don’t act now, the generations who come after us will suffer – they’ll suffer both the missed opportunity to experience the wonders of marine life and they’ll suffer the incredibly harmful knock-on effects polluted oceans will have on their lives.

This is why it’s so important that we engage our children and grandchildren, arm them with the best defence against the catastrophe we’re currently heading towards – knowledge.

Start simple. The next time you take your children to the beach and they inevitably start teasing each other with seaweed, take the time to explain to them just how important it actually is. That seaweed is the bedrock of the aquatic food chain – just like plant life on land – without seaweed, the marine ecosystem collapses as animals that eat it will die, and the animals who eat them will die and so on. It also provides shelter and protection for a huge array of fish, crabs, lobsters, and other sea life.

But it’s not just marine life which relies on seaweed. Seaweed is a kind of algae, and algae are estimated to provide as much as 80% of the world’s breathable oxygen. However, through human interaction, the seas are becoming more and more acidic which, in turn, kills off the algae which we, and every other animal, need to breathe.

For most of us, the ocean is just a nice place we visit maybe once or twice a year, have a lovely time splashing around and then forget about until we next visit. However, the oceans account for over 90% of the world’s habitable living space. Yet, despite this, only 1% of it is currently protected space – compared with 12% of the total land area being protected.

Drastic and immediate action needs to be taken in order to preserve the oceans for us, future generations, and all the marine life which live there. This is why it’s so important to support charities like the Marine Conservation Society who are really making a positive difference.

But not to end on a sad note, here’s a joke you can tell your children –

Q. Why did the fish laugh?

A. Because the seaweed!