#MyOceanChallenge – A “Rubbish” Challenge for a Clean Ocean

Until World Oceans Day, June 8,  My Ocean Challenge is to do a litter pick everyday and take photos of the rubbish found to raise funds and awareness about the growing marine litter problem!

My Ocean Challenge Day 1 - Avon River, BristolMy “Rubbish” Ocean Challenge started a few days ago with a special evening at my daughter’s Scouts group where I was invited to discuss the challenges our ocean is facing. We talked about endangered marine species, over-fishing, unsustainable fishing practices including shark finning, and the devastating impacts of marine debris.

All 26 Scouts and their leaders joined me in a litter pick. In less than 15 minutes, we collected three buckets full of litter: aluminium cans, plastic bottles, cigarette butts, glass bottles, food wrappers, plastic toys, six-pack rings, broken glass, … and more – a true ‪wake up call for the kids who couldn’t believe that an estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in our ocean each year!

Scouts St Bernadette Rubbish Challenge

When Project AWARE launched #MyOceanChallenge on Endangered Species Day, May 15, I decided to join the challenge to help support a clean and healthy ocean.

It has been estimated that around 80% of marine debris is from land-based sources. Single use items we throw away every day like plastic bottles and bags end up on the ocean floor, choking our environment.

Unfortunately, you really don’t have to look far to find it! Our trash is everywhere …..  This is what we found on our way to our local park today… Only a ten minute walk from home!

My Ocean Challenge Day 2 - Litter Pick

Thanks for supporting a clean, healthy ocean and for sponsoring My “Rubbish” Ocean Challenge!

Check out my Fundraising Page for regular updates on how I’m getting on with the challenge!

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#GivingTuesday: The Ocean Gives Us ….

Divers in San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico imageNo matter where we live, the ocean touches our lives every day. It gives us food, water, commerce, and recreation. It even provides some of the medicines that heal us and the air we breathe. It gives us oxygen, rain, food, excitement, joy, wonder, mystery and so much more. The most powerful component in ocean conservation is us! From everyday lifestyle changes such as ditching the plastic water bottles for reusable ones to taking part in Dive Against Debris surveys, our actions and our voice have the most powerful impact on the health of our oceans. Today as the world celebrates #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving, let’s give back to the ocean!

The Countdown to Secure Trade Protection for Sharks Starts NOW

Did you know? Only three shark species are protected under CITES regulations (great white, whale shark and basking shark). Yet many shark species such as scalloped hammerhead, porbeagle and spiny dogfish are on the brink of extinction!

In less than one year’s time, Government officials from all around the world will meet in Thailand to discuss the fate of the most threatened and heavily traded shark species. With 175 member countries the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) sets controls on the international trade and movement of animals and plants at risks of becoming extinct.

Many shark populations have declined dramatically over the past thirty years, some by as much as 99%. By supporting the Big Shark Shout Out campaign and signing the CITES petition you can give sharks a fighting chance and ensure the most vulnerable shark species get the trade protection they desperately need.

Sign the CITES petition TODAY

SHARK FINNING

The burgeoning and largely unregulated trade in shark fins represents one of the most serious threats to shark populations worldwide.

Shark finning (the cruel practice which involves slicing fins from sharks at sea and dumping their bodies overboard) is not only an Asian problem. Shark fin soup can be found in many restaurants across the world and many countries export shark fins to the Asian market.

According to some studies, every country with a coastline export fins to Hong Kong. Despite a shark finning ban implemented in 2003 in Europe for instance, EU countries (particularly Spain) continue to be the single largest supplier of shark fins to the Hong Kong market.

WHY SHARKS ARE IMPORTANT

Sharks play an important role in keeping the ocean healthy and in balance. They regulate the quantity and health of other species of fish and invertebrates. Sharks quite often prey on sick, diseased or old animals. This prevents the disease or sickness from spreading and  creates habitat space for other animals. Oceans without sharks are oceans out of balance, which means trouble for everyone who depends on oceans for food, jobs and enjoyment. All of us really!

Support for shark protection is difficult to achieve because of the persistent irrational fear of sharks. A change in attitude, perception, media coverage, and improved conservation legislation and fishing policies are desperately needed. Public support for shark conservation is crucial to balance short-term interests and ensure that strong and enforceable shark conservation measures are implemented.

We can’t afford to ignore the fate of sharks because some of us are afraid of these animals or because this slaughter happens miles out at sea where no one sees it. The results of the loss of sharks will have effects beyond our  imagination and beyond our current ability to understand.

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