Marine Environment Conservation

Marine Environment Conservation

Help Protect Our Underwater World

Marine environment conservation is the protection of the oceans and waterways of our blue plant. These bodies of water hold a vast array of marine animal and plant life that ranges from massive to microscopic. The majority (98 percent) of marine life lives in the coastal fringes, with only two percent of known marine life living in the open ocean.

Many of the world's marine ecosystems are in decline and this is why marine environment conservation is so important. The efforts of many big conservation organizations such as the Coral Cay Foundation can be seen with the establishment of national marine conservation areas around the world. Greenpeace is another organization that constantly battles against illegal whaling and the taking of shark fins. Other multi-national operations such as Save Our Seas, World Wildlife Federation and the Marine Conservation Society work hard at coastal and offshore marine conservation.

Marine Life on the Brink

Much of the marine life in our oceans is in danger. Some species of marine life have been pushed to the brink of extinction. The destruction of the marine environment is being brought about by indiscriminate fishing practices, pollution and a general disregard for the welfare of marine ecosystems. If these practices are not stopped, we could see ours oceans turn into a ghost town.

Shark-finning is one of many reasons for marine conservation. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year to supply the demand for shark-fin soup. This has caused the shark population around the world to drop more than 90 percent in the last 25 years. This is especially sad because is it is only the fins that are taken. The live, finless body of the shark is thrown back into the sea to die a slow and agonizing death.

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is another species of marine life that has been pushed to the brink of extinction. These magnificent fish once roamed the sea in huge numbers. Because of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Our coral reefs are also under threat. Delicate reef systems are being damaged by destructive fishing, silt from coastal development and increased pollution. It is estimated that 90 percent of coral reefs worldwide have seen some type of damage by mankind. A good understanding of marine environment conservation is vital if we are to preserve these vibrant ecosystems.

Divers Making a Difference

Scuba divers will have a variety of reasons for what inspired them to get into the water and take up the sport of diving. These reasons will range from a fascination of marine life, a love of the sea to simply wanting to challenge their own personal limitations. Regardless of the reason, one thing is certain. They return time and time again to this beautiful and magical underwater world.

Recreational scuba divers are in a unique position to contribute to marine environment conservation. With millions of divers diving around the world every year, we offer a sizeable group of people that can actively participate in coastal and marine conservation efforts. It is a way that we, as divers can give something back to the marine environment.

A Divers Responsibility

Certifying agencies start to teach responsible diving in basic open water courses. Learning good buoyancy skills, how to properly streamline your scuba gear and a healthy respect for marine life is all part of being a responsible diver. This is marine environment conservation at its most basic level and is something every diver can and should practice.

Many dive operations around the world are actively involved in conservation efforts. They vigorously enforce a "no-touch" policy when diving. This is especially true when diving on delicate reef systems. In national marine conservation areas you can be asked to leave the water if you do not follow their "no-touch" rule.

As divers we should consider ourselves the custodians of the planets oceans and waterways. We need to respect the marine life and delicate ecosystems they contain and practice "low-impact" diving. This way we can help make sure future divers will be able to enjoy this great underwater world.

Another way divers can do their part in marine environment conservation is through volunteer work. Local dive shops will often organize periodic beach and dive site clean-ups. This work can be very satisfying because you have helped turn a trashy dive site or beach into a cleaner and healthier place.

Some divers will join marine environment conservation organizations in their local area. You can find marine ecology programs by searching the internet and scuba diving magazines. Many of these organizations will offer programs such as monitoring of marine life in a certain area. As a volunteer you could be involved in observing marine life and other factors. You would be responsible for recording the data to be used by different research groups. Getting involved in monitoring programs can make your diving more rewarding.

The key to the survival of our marine ecosystems is for us to take action. You can join a national conservation organization or join a beach clean-up. You can educate yourself and your friends on making sustainable seafood choices or all of the above. Every action, no matter how small, adds up so take action today. In fact, here is something you can do right now. Go to Project AWARE's website and sign their petition to protect many of the shark species that are on the Endangered Species list.

Make marine environment conservation your passion. Help save our marine ecosystems.

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