“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean” – Arthur C. Clarke, Author
As World Wildlife Day approached us we saw that the theme of marine life was the focus for 2019. For a moment we thought our input might be irrelevant with this particular topic. However, after thinking a little deeper we soon realised that the wildlife at Londolozi has a couple of similarities with those under the sea. We’ve termed them our ‘Marine Counterparts’ and today we shine the spotlight on them, in doing so hoping to highlight the critical issues and values of marine wildlife to our everyday lives, as well as humour you with some frighteningly similar marine-safari animal comparisons. Although we are not situated on the coastline, we acknowledge the impact of our oceans on the abundance of life here at Londolozi.
Life below water: for people and planet
It’s difficult to comprehend that our oceans have a huge role in the livelihood of all at at Londolozi, but then again our oceans make up two-thirds of the world’s surface and – more importantly – host 99% of the Earth’s liveable habitat. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary General, helps us understand the extend of the oceans’ impact:
“Oceans regulate our climate, produce half the oxygen we breathe, provide nourishment for 3+ billion people, and absorb 30% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and fully 90% of the heat from climate change. To ensure that oceans and marine species are preserved and protected, nature-based solutions that bring together public, private and civil society partners need to be replicated and scaled-up.”
This body of water is crucial to life on Earth but yet it is estimated that by 2100, without significant change, more than half the world’s marine species may face extinction (United Nations Development Programme). What can we do to help this ‘Wilderness of Water’ and protect the life that protects us?
This World Wildlife Day (3 March), just do one thing…
To help you #DoOneThingToday, we’ve found nine things you could do. We’ve also scattered some family portraits of our marine counterparts in between:
1. Know Where Your Food Comes From
This sounds trivial, but it’s something we all forget to do. For all those seafood lovers, choose marine life that is both healthful and sustainable; print out a pocket guide or download an app to make this easier to reference. It’s astonishing to find out that 90% of fish stocks are either fully exploited, over-exploited, or have collapsed entirely. It’s even more horrifying to read that one in three fish caught never makes it to the plate. Every year fisheries waste about 10 million tonnes of fish—enough to fill 4,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools (United Nations Development Programme).
2. The Dreaded “P” Word : PLASTIC
- Carry a reusable water bottle
- Store food in non-disposable containers
- Refuse to use plastic straws
- Bring your own reusable bag when shopping
- Buy things with less packaging
- Recycle whenever possible
- And Londolozi’s favourite: start creating Ecobricks. Learn how to make these here. This will help prevent more garbage patches like that in the Great Pacific.
3. Look After Our Beaches
- Always clean up after yourself, don’t leave anything on the beach but your footprints
- Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral
- Participate in local beach cleanups
4. Be A Responsible Pet Owner
- Read pet food labels and make sure you are purchasing food that is sustainable
- Never flush cat litter, as it can contain harmful pathogens which are released into the sea
- Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish
- Never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water
5. Be Aware Of The Products
Avoid purchasing items that have resulted in the exploitation of marine life, such as:
- Shells (often sold on the beach)
- Coral jewellery
- Tortoise shell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles)
- Shark products (cosmetics containing shark squalene)
6. Balloons Blow, Don’t Let Them Go
These are often swallowed by turtles who mistake them for food, and the string can also be harmful to other marine life who get tangled in it (especially when they are released in the air). There are many safer and creative alternatives to use instead of plastic balloons.
7. Monofilament Fishing Line Takes 600 Years To Degrade
Avoid disposing of your fishing line in the sea; this is another item, which threatens animals such as whales.
8. Support Organisations Doing Good
It’s important to look after those who are making a difference and protecting our oceans and marine life. When visiting Cape Town, be sure to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium (who are involved in a number of conservation and research programmes) and experience some of their spectacular exhibitions.
9. Share this post to help raise global awareness of the importance of life below water
“Health to the ocean means health for us” – Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist