Help champion our seas this National Marine Week

Minke whale breaching off Rue Point, Rathlin Island (c) Tom McDonnell 

With National Marine Week in full swing, we caught up with our Living Seas Manager, Rebecca Hunter, to find out why our local seas are worth protecting and how we can all play our part in championing healthier seas.

Amazing marine wildlife experiences are sought after the world over. Be it swimming with great white sharks in South Africa or diving on the Great Barrier Reef, people flock to marvel at all the weird and wonderful creatures living in our seas.

However, these experiences are not just limited to distant, exotic countries with an endless supply of sunshine. From stunning blue-rayed limpets and velvet swimming crabs found on our shores to the world’s second-biggest fish, the basking shark, sieving our coastal waters for plankton, our productive seas are home to a beautiful array of marine wildlife.

In recent years, we’ve seen more and more people here recognise the importance of our marine environment and eager to protect it. Our seas supply us with a wealth of resource: tiny photosynthesising plankton in the oceans provide nearly half of the world’s oxygen and 1 in 5 people on our planet are dependent on fish as a primary source of protein. The need to keep our seas healthy is clear – we literally rely on the oceans for the air we breathe and the food we eat.

But our marine environment is at risk. Intensive fishing, marine litter and climate change (to name but a few) continue to threaten the delicate balance of life at sea. Ulster Wildlife is helping to bring our seas back to life by campaigning for a network of marine protected areas and championing endangered species such as sharks, skates and rays.

The need to keep our seas healthy is clear – we literally rely on the oceans for the air we breathe and the food we eat.

How you can help our seas

But there is lots you can do too to help make our seas healthier. Why not pledge to take action this National Marine Week?

Say no to single-use plastics such as straw, bags, cups and bottles, which could end up in the sea. Buy a reusable coffee cup and water bottle, buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packaged items, and always carry a reusable shopping bag. 

Don’t let balloons go. Balloons can injure, entangle or kill wildlife, so if you wish to hold a remembrance event consider eco-alternatives such as tree planting or bubbles.

Say yes to sustainable fish. Look for the blue MSC label and give preference to locally sourced line or pot caught fish.

Pledge to pick up and bin five pieces of litter a day to stop it heading downstream to the sea.

Finally, why not become a member of Ulster Wildlife and join thousands of others helping Northern Ireland’s marine wildlife? 

Do you believe our seas are worth protecting?

Join us today

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus). December 2009. - Neil Aldridge

Take action to help our seas

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