Sure, you could join Greenpeace or chain yourself to a whaling boat, but that’s not for everyone. Here are 5 things (almost) anyone can do, anytime, to save the ocean and protect precious marine life.
Stop Ocean Plastic Pollution – Use Less Plastic
Tackling ocean pollution is a global responsibility. Our beloved, filter-feeding manta rays are especially vulnerable to pollution as their big mouths easily swallow stuff that just doesn’t belong there. Plastic in the ocean affects mantas in a multitude of ways, as you can read in this article.
After discussing the issue of plastic pollution in our Manta Ray Advocates Facebook group a couple of years ago, we compiled this easy-to-do list of ideas from our followers for living with less plastic.
- Use reusable (metal) straws
- Stop using plastic cutlery and plastic wrap
- Bring your own refillable water bottle or mug
- Store leftovers and lunches in glass containers with lids
- Use laundry soap that doesn’t come in containers… or if you do, repurpose the container
- Buy cat litter in a recyclable bag, not in a plastic container
- Make your own soda water and reuse the bottles
- Recycle soda cans and bottles
- Bring your own cloth shopping bags
- Forgo fast food (but if you do, transport in reusable containers)
Want more tips to use less plastic? Find them in this article!
Zero waste is achievable! Single-use plastic is becoming less and less popular, but we’re not there yet.
Stop Damage from Fishing – Eat Less Fish
Overfishing occurs when large ships catch fish faster than they can be replenished. Overfishing is one of the top reasons why ocean wildlife populations are continuing to decline.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, overfishing is the most serious threat to our oceans, and reducing this is essential if we want to save the ocean. You can read more about the dangers of overfishing in this article from the EDF.
Manta rays are often injured due to fishing.
On the one end, manta rays are being directly targeted by Asian fisheries due to the increased trade for their gill plates. Also, their meat is used as a filler in shark fin soup.
However, the fishing injuries manta rays most often face are due to “ghost” fishing gear that is discarded in the ocean. Nets, lines, and hooks easily attach to fins and are dragged with manta rays as they swim, causing life-threatening injuries.
The video below shows one of our manta friends, Jolene Ray, and the fishing hook that was embedded in her body until a fellow diver was able to free her.
Manta rays are not the only marine life injured by fishing. In 2013, local divers were approached by a dolphin with a hook and fishing line stuck between his mouth and left pectoral fin. The divemaster was able to remove the hook and line, saving the life of this dolphin that we later nicknamed “Notch” by allowing him to once again swim and eat freely.
We were able to get this spectacular rescue on video – and the story of Notch, the Rescued Dolphin is also available as a children’s book.
Support Ocean Conservancy Organizations and Help Them Save the Ocean
Ocean conservancy organizations are doing wonderful things to protect marine life. As a manta ray advocate and lover of our oceans and all marine life, I make it a priority to support the organizations that I feel are having the greatest and most meaningful impact.
This article discusses the 7 ocean conservation charities that I fully believe in.
Watch & Share Documentary Movies
You can learn a lot about our oceans and marine life by watching movies about them. Increased knowledge leads to a greater appreciation and a strengthened desire to do more.
So, watch, learn, and grow from these amazing movies. Then tell people about the ones you saw and that made an impression. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list featuring our favorite documentary movies.
Become a Manta Ray Advocate Today
Here at Manta Ray Advocates, we do what we can to save the ocean every day – we know every little effort makes a difference for our beloved mantas.
It’s easy to become a Manta Ray Advocate! Get started by downloading the free manta ray ebook! You’ll learn about the personalities of manta rays as well as the threats mantas face and how we can protect them and other marine life.
Together, there is so much we can accomplish!