Between Shell’s seismic surveys and mining currently underway along the West Coast, our oceans have been making local and international headlines. Despite its vastness, the sea and its inhabitants are in a fragile state. The hard truth is that the ocean has been in hot water for a long while. Pollution, over-fishing and global warming are just three elements playing a devastating role.
Marine life is suffering at the hands of humankind. A video showing president of Marine Megafauna Conservation Organisation Hugues Vitry serves as just one example. From the tiniest zooplankton to a ten-meter Sperm whale, no creature is able to escape.
The footage taken by Vitry’s team on an expedition in Mauritius shows the Sperm whale guzzled in fishing ropes that had become wrapped around its lower jaw and anchored to the bottom of the ocean.
Interestingly, the whale approached Vitry and ‘asked’ him for help. Vitry told the Daily Mail that he has known this whale since it was born in 2011. He had studied the pod, spending a lot of time with them beneath the waves. This particular whale even has a name; ‘White Spot’ due to distinctive markings on its stomach.
“I could see that his eye was wide open in fear, like that of a frightened horse. I went over to him and stroked him to calm him down.
After a few seconds, he closed his eye as if he was sleeping, I got down and started to assess how I was going to free him.”
Using a knife to tackle the knotted mess, he began working to save his ocean friend.
Here are 3 simple ways you can help save our seas:
1. Ditch single-use plastics:
One bottle of water in your hand equates to millions of years of plastic on our land. Single-use plastics are unnecessary killers. Purchase a reusable water bottle, use glass tuppawear over plastic wrap and plastic containers, ditch straws and look at long-term, sustainable replacements for plastic: glass, steel, and hemp are three amazing products to bring into your home.
2. Shop with reusable bags:
Over 100 000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags each year. Switch to reusables to reduce your overall waste and keep sea life from harm.
3. Choose seasonal and local:
Avoid buying plastic-packaged foods. Make use of Cape Town’s fabulous produce markets which will see fresh, seasonal ingredients make its way into your fridge, and keep plastic out of the ocean. Reducing meat consumption is also a great way to contribute towards a more sustainable future. If you enjoy fish, ensure that it’s sustainably sourced. Check out SASSI’s list of green-list fish here (green is for go, red is for no).
These are just three of many, many ways you can make a start towards living a greener life and saving ocean creatures like White Spot. These options aren’t only free but could see you saving money in the long run.