There’s nothing quite like the prospect of a sun-drenched beach to welcome summer, but beyond the shoreline and beneath the surface, our seas play an important part in combating climate change. We caught up with Anne from the Marine Conservation Society to tell us more about the threats our oceans face, and their mission to save a carbon-capturing marine super plant you may not have heard of!
What are the biggest threats that our seas are currently facing?
Many of us are probably aware of, and have seen a lot of ocean pollution, but this goes beyond plastic…many man-made materials and land-based activities can cause pollution in the ocean which damages marine life and the underwater ecosystem.
Too many fish are being taken out of the sea! Overfishing is the biggest cause of marine biodiversity loss in the last 50 years, that’s why we’re working hard on policies which will lead to ocean-friendly fishing practices in the future.
Underwater habitats are being degraded by human activity, reducing the ocean’s power to slow global warming and provide a haven for marine animals. Better protections for vulnerable areas of UK seas would allow these underwater habitats to repair and thrive.
What changes can we make to help protect our seas?
- Throughout July, you can take the Plastic Challenge and cut down on your single-use waste and learn about reusable alternatives to make long-lasting changes.
- Learn more about how to shop for sustainable seafood through the Good Fish Guide. We work with companies like Abel & Cole who use the Good Fish Guide ratings to make sure the seafood they source is from sustainable fisheries.
- Support our campaigns for better protections for our seas to help underwater ecosystems and marine life thrive.
- Donate and show your support for projects including “Save Our Seagrass” and “Help Our Kelp” to protect underwater ecosystems through local projects.
What are seagrass meadows and how can they help to save our seas?
Seagrass is a flowering plant which you can find in shallow waters around the UK’s coastline and is really valuable in combating climate change. In fact, seagrass meadows can absorb as much carbon as the same area of forest on land. The meadows are also essential habitats for the two species of seahorse we have in the UK. You can also find cod, crabs, cuttlefish and sharks amongst the seagrass.
With rising sea levels causing coastal erosion, healthy seagrass can reduce the power of waves, protecting our coastline from washing away sheltered coves and beaches.
But our seagrass meadows are under threat. At least 35% of seagrasses worldwide have been lost or degraded over the last 40 years. We are now working on an exciting project along the South Coast to replant and monitor the recovery of seagrass meadows and raise awareness of their importance. We need to raise £105,000 to cover the cost of our work of the project, also supporting the installation of less damaging moorings that will ensure the seagrass meadows that surround the moorings can thrive once again.
Want to ready more about our seagrass project? Check it out here. You can also support our "Save our Seagrass" appeal directly by donating the price of that ’99 flake by following this link.
Reel in our sustainable seafood
*Images by ©MCS | Paul Naylor