Coral reefs regulate the carbon dioxide levels in the oceans by turning the CO2 into limestone (which eventually becomes our beaches). Without their efforts, the CO2 levels in the oceans would reach unsustainable levels; levels approaching what we’re seeing now, as a matter of fact. Right now we’re in a vicious and detrimental cycle where we have unapologetically destroyed more than a quarter of the reefs in the oceans (by some estimates a third), impacting and raising the CO2 levels, which in turn harms and kills even more coral reefs. As long as this cycle continues, the coral reefs and associated fisheries will continue to die. As the coral dies, so do the fisheries supported by them. As the CO2 levels increase, more fish are impacted and killed and even more fisheries are affected, even those not directly associated with coral reefs. There is a chain in the ocean and we are in the process of actively breaking a link in that chain.
Avoid buying seafood that comes from stocks that are being overfished or is caught using destructive fishing methods. Check the Red List here. Demand that your supermarket and tuna brand source sustainable tuna. Look for tuna cans with "Pole and Line" or "Hand-Caught." Speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.
We need to use less fossil fuel to reduce the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on the oceans. Leave the car at home at least one day a week and inflate your tyres more often. Be conscious of your energy use at home and work, switch to energy efficient light bulbs and unplug your appliances and gadgets or use a power strip to cut power to electronics when they are not in use.
For your holiday destination chose a country that supports ocean sanctuaries. Always research the most eco-friendly option and whenever possible avoid flying or offset your carbon footprint by supporting for example clean-energy projects. Avoid buying coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair accessories, and shark or other endangered marine species products.
No matter how far from the sea you live, your drainage water will eventually end up in the ocean. Use biodegradable washing powder, chemical free household and gardening products or simple, non-toxic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice.
Learn more about the oceans, marine life and the need for ocean sanctuaries, then share your knowledge so you can educate and inspire others. You can help influence change. Contact your local politicians to let them know you support ocean sanctuaries and other marine conservation projects, and vote for environmentally-minded parties.
Sea of Change: Your Role in Marine Conservation
YOUR ROLE IN MARINE CONSERVATION
Christine Paula Love R. Bernasor
Has one of the longest coastlines in the world—
estimated at 36,289 kilometers.
The coastline extends 2,000 kilometers from north to
south, with 25 major cities lying on the coast.
Coral Triangle is a marine area located in the western Pacific
Papua New Guinea
75% of the world’s coral species are found here—
nearly 600 different species.
Six of the world’s seven marine turtle species
More than 2000 species of reef fish
Should We Look Into Space?
No Habitable Planets Yet –
Time to Travel
‘Earthening’ Planets – Too
Population Control and
To Look From Space Rather
Than Into Space
The 9 Billion Question
By the law of nature these things are common to mankind—
the air, running water, the sea, and consequently the shores
of the sea.
A consequence of the common nature of the oceans, where
private property does not generally occur, is that no one
takes responsibility for the problems plaguing the oceans and
that its resources are overexploited even where regulations,
but insufficient enforcement, exist.
TRAGEDY OF COMMONS
Rising temperatures & Ocean Acidification
Twin threats to ocean life
resulting from the increased
levels of carbon dioxide we
are pumping into the
atmosphere as a result of
our dependence on fossil
Coral Reef Degradation
The Philippines coral reef
area is the second largest in
More than 400 scleractinian
coral species, 12 of which
Less than 1% of our coral
reefs are in excellent
Loss of Sea Grass Beds and Mangroves
Of the more than 10,000
square kilometers of 98 sites
surveyed, only 978 square
kilometers of sea grass beds
We lost 30-40 percent of our
sea grass beds
Only 140,000 hectares of
mangroves remains out of
Nearly 40 million sharks are
killed annually for their
fins, which are considered a
delicacy in Asia and
prepared primarily in soups
No legislation to ban the
catching of all sharks and
rays in Philippine waters
All sorts of human-generated
pollutants are degrading the
including those discharged
from factories on land,
pesticides and nutrients from
agriculture, sewage, plastics,
toxic chemicals and oil
resulting from spills, and
from nuclear power stations
situated near the coast.
Sea Levels Rising
Philippines has seen three
times the global average in
sea level rising making it
more vulnerable to natural
Philippines posted the
highest average increase in
sea levels, at 60 cms, against
the global average of 19 cms
since the year 1901.
Overfishing and Illegal Fishing
75% percent of fisheries are
Philippines will run out of
fish in ten years if it fails to
Compared to 1960’s only
10% of the fish population
Today we allocate important resources to search for
water and oceans in distant planets - so far with no
But we largely ignore our ocean, the “inner space”
At least 4,951 species of marine plants and animals are found
in Philippine coastal and marine habitats.
The 381 coral species and 1,030 species of fish recorded in
Philippine coral reefs ranks the country second to the great
Barrier Reef in coral and coral reef fish diversity
3,967 species of coral reefs
481 species of sea grass beds
There are 16 taxa of seagrasses recorded in the Philippines
making the country the second highest in terms of seagrass
species richness in the world
370 species of mangroves
70 species soft bottom communities
Home to Millions
Scientists believe that phytoplankton contribute
between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s
Seagrass meadows are strong natural carbon sinks
even greater than the pristine Amazonian forest.
It is estimated that four and a half million of hectares
of mangroves in Indonesia can scrub the carbon
emissions of some five million cars.
Mangroves can sequester 1.5 tons of carbon per
hectare per year
Oxygen and CO2 Regulation
At least 40 million Filipinos depend on the sea for food and
More than 1 million people (5 percent of the national labor
force), with 68% employed in the municipal sector and 28% in
the commercial and aquaculture sectors
6.2 million employed in tourism-related businesses
At least $83 million per year annual direct benefits from
Philippines accounts for 43% of the marine aquarium fish and
36 percent of the invertebrates traded globally
Coral reefs alone contribute at least $1,064 billion annually
1 square kilometer of healthy coral reef with some tourism
potential produces net revenues ranging from $29,000 to
Food and Livelihood
Coral reefs protect an estimated 200 million people
from natural disasters and rising sea levels.
Trabectedin is an anti-tumor drug. It is sold under the brand
name Yondelis in Europe, Russia and South Korea for the
treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma, such as ovary
Green fluorescent proteins (GFP) are proteins that exhibit
bright green fluorescence when excited by blue or UV
radiation. First isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria,
GFP has been used to design biosensors for visualisation and
Market Value: US$9B in 2009, increasing at a rapid 9.4% from
the previous year.
1 amylase, from a hydrothermal vent organism, used to liquefy
corn biofuel deliver US$150M every year on patent use rights
Myth: There are
floating islands of
plastics in every ocean.
Fact: Only a small
percentage of ocean
plastics float at the sea
Myth: Ocean plastic
primarily comes from
ocean dumping and
industry, such as cruise
ships or container ships.
Fact: Most of the plastics
in the ocean come from
items we use every day.
Myth: Ocean trash gyres,
large areas of the ocean
concentrate trash, can
simply be cleaned out of
Fact: While some surface
trash can be cleaned,
many plastics break
down and become
Myth: Ocean plastics
are just a trash
Fact: Plastic particles
are now found inside
throughout the ocean
Myth: There is one, simple solution capable of solving
our ocean plastics problem.
Fact: Bans, fees, recycling nor product redesign alone
can fix this.