The sea and its creatures are in trouble, but you can help. Wild Things Editor Johanna Knox tells us how.
As a young person, you can play a vital role in saving the sea. Find out as much as possible about what hurts it and what helps. Then talk about it to the adults you know. Start discussing ideas for ways to help the sea, and let adults know just how much you and other kids, really care about all its vulnerable animals.
You can get adults doing something about what we take out of the water (fish and other seafood), and what we put into it (often dangerous rubbish).
Making fishing better
Do you eat fish? Or do your friends or family? Here’s how fish eaters can help the sea.
What to know first
Some of the businesses that catch the fish we eat are doing terrible things to the seas:
They catch too many of some fish species (‘overfishing’). Those fish may become threatened.
They use fishing methods that accidentally catch and kill precious dolphins, seals, sea lions and seabirds like petrels and albatrosses. (That’s called ‘bycatch’).
They stir up the bottom of the sea, destroying what lives and grows there.
Every time someone opens a tin of tuna, fries a fish fillet from the supermarket, or digs into a steaming parcel of fish and chips… a lot more than fish might have died for that meal.
What to do
People who buy fish need to send a strong message to the companies that farm, catch or sell that fish. There’s one really clear way to send a message: by only buying fish that have been caught in the best, ocean friendly ways. If lots of people stop buying fish that have been caught in dangerous, damaging ways then companies will have to change to better ways.
But how can you know which fish were caught how? Forest & Bird has been working hard on the answer. In December this year, they are releasing a new version of their Best Fish Guide. It’s a free mobile app, full of the latest info on which fish are best – and worst – to buy.
Make sure everyone you know who buys fish gets it! Tell them how important it is, and why. To see when the best fish guide is released and to download it, keep a close eye on www.bestfishguide.org.nz.
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