Photo: Footprints in the sand

(Credit: CBC One Ocean)

By Lana Gunnlaugson, Program Coordinator, Marine & Freshwater

Last week, the One Ocean series launched with The Birth of an Ocean, a necessary reminder of how the ocean not only provides a pretty view, but that we all rely on it for our survival. Part two of this series is titled Footprints in the Sand and after catching a sneak preview of it this week, I'd say they couldn't have picked a better title. Overfishing, dead zones and ocean warming — all issues featured in this episode — are very real threats for both our oceans and for humans that are caused by the heavy footprint we're leaving on this planet.

Tonight's episode initially gripped me with sadness. As David Suzuki promised I would, I was nearly brought to tears as I watched a school of the most beautiful, nearly extinct bluefin tuna be hunted down by illegal spot planes. We cannot afford to look away anymore, especially when much of the ocean is being transformed in ways that are barely visible to most of us. Especially because it is not too late to do something. In the case of bluefin tuna, we can make the decision to stop eating this endangered species and instead advocate for an international ban on fishing.

One Ocean's message is clear: We need to manage humans, not marine life. Our coastal areas only make up 10 per cent of our ocean, but they support 90 per cent of sea life. The documentary illustrates sustainable solutions like coastal marine reserves, which actually benefit fishers with an increase in catch of fish populations that are now thriving within the protected area. This is one of several examples of the ocean's amazing ability to heal itself. We can support this recovery by taking action today. Here are a few simple ways that you can make a difference in your life.

March 10, 2010

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