I just viewed a film called, A Sea Change hosted by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) at a cinema here in Melbourne. Firstly, thank you to Michela and Ange and everyone at AMCS for a great night and for allowing me to sell Guide to Fish after the movie. I met some great people and we had some significant conversations.
The film was from the viewpoint of Sven Huseby, a retired educator, husband, father, grandfather and gentleman. He clearly adores being a grandfather and after reading an article in the New Yorker makes it his (later) life’s journey to discover what is going on with the state of our oceans. He does this motivated by what the future will hold for his grandson.
He finds that the seriousness of what is called ocean acidification, which is caused through carbon emissions (made by us), is harming the very basis of the marine food chain. Huseby discusses gorgeous little sea animals called pterapods that are struggling to grow their shells due to this acidification – they can’t survive without their shells. Salmon and other fish feed on pterapods and so, the marine cycle begins to struggle and our oceans are in trouble. Imagine the sea without fish.
What can we do on a day-to-day level to reduce carbon emissions and thus, help prevent ocean acidification?
I am looking at this strictly from the point of view of a consumer and one who eats meat. It may be simplistic but it is common knowledge that meat production is one of the greatest contributors to the planet’s carbon emissions:
– Ask the origins of the meat we buy – wherever possible try to avoid buying intensively farmed meat, the energy this method of farming sucks up is exponential. Animals that are reared in an environment where their well-being matters not only taste better but are better for the environment. Yes, they still omit methane and other harmful gases but on a smaller scale.
– If you’re a regular meat-eater cut down the quantities of meat you eat, think about the quality of meat you choose.
– Look at secondary cuts of meat as a sustainable and carbon-cutting choice (& they are often cheaper) – use more of the animal means leave less waste behind.
– Embrace Farmers Markets where the middle man is cut out and you buy directly from the producer, this saves energy in transport and you gain greater knowledge of the product you are buying.
– Cook at home whenever you can.
– Enjoy good flavours and quality products.
I found this explanation of Ocean Acidification (see below) on www.ocean-acidification.net/
About Ocean Acidification
‘The ocean absorbs approximately one-fourth of the CO2 added to the atmosphere from human activities each year, greatly reducing the impact of this greenhouse gas on climate. When CO2 dissolves in seawater, carbonic acid is formed. This phenomenon, called ocean acidification, is decreasing the ability of many marine organisms to build their shells and skeletal structure. Field studies suggest that impacts of acidification on some major marine calcifiers may already be detectable, and naturally high-CO2 marine environments exhibit major shifts in marine ecosystems following trends expected from laboratory experiments. Yet the full impact of ocean acidification and how these impacts may propogate through marine ecosystems and affect fisheries remains largely unknown.’