Oceans

24th November 2020

Rise Up for Oceans

The oceans support all life on Earth

They regulate the climate, storing and releasing heat energy from the sun (like a battery) and absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

They also provide a habitat to millions of species.

Yet ocean species are being lost at twice the rate of those on the land, decreasing faster than they can reproduce to sustain life.

Why?

Overfishing and the catch methods used depletes populations, hurts vulnerable species and destroys ocean habitats.

Meanwhile 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, harming many more species as they ingest or are entangled by debris. And micro-plastic ends up in the human food chain when we eat contaminated fish.

Yet more than 27% of wild-caught fish is discarded before it's sold, and one-fifth is used as animal feed (for livestock, and for fish farms that pollute the surrounding waters).

And half of the plastic produced every year - 150 million tons - is for single-use items.

We can change this.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, and SDG14 has specific aims for Life Below Water.

We can each reduce our impact on the oceans by reducing waste, eating less meat and dairy, choosing MSC certified products (but avoid farmed salmon), and reducing single-use plastic.

But bigger, systemic change is needed.

We need the fishing industry (which employs 60 million people and provides protein for 3.2 billion people) to be sustainable. This applies to the amount of fish taken from the oceans and the fishing gear used to avoid ecosystem damage.

We also need marine sanctuaries to be established to protect vital habitats.

It's time to Rise Up

Ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) this year, we're calling for action to address the impact of our food system. We have to change the way food is produced to limit global warming to 1.5oC by 2050. 

The UK Government has committed to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. We have an opportunity to lead at COP26, and we must hold the government to account. 

You can write to your local MP here, and ask them to be an advocate for climate and nature. And share this action with friends, over a cheeky pint.

Beer that does the world of good

We’re releasing a series of limited-edition beers, brewed in collaboration with B Corp brands to highlight a different element of the ecological crisis and and the systemic change needed to the food system to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Oceans is our second topic (following on from Forests), and we're collaborating with teapigs.

Many of the products we use everyday contain plastic, even those that we least suspect such as tea bags. If this plastic ends up in the ocean, it can present a danger to marine life.

teapigs is Certified Plastic Free. Their tea bags have never contained plastic - they use biodegradable cornstarch,  a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn - and they’re packaged in bags made from wood pulp (Natureflex) and FSC certified paper board boxes.

By supporting businesses that operate for the benefit of people and the planet, particularly certified B Corps such as Toast and teapigs, you can help to change the food system, and change the world.

Want to learn more about our oceans?

Watch: RI Christmas Lecture: Water World,  A plastic ocean, Blue Planet II

Listen: Marine Conservation Happy Hour

Read: The End of The Line by Charles Clover, Future Sea by Deborah Rowan Wright.

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