Sustainability at Sea – 5 Practices to Help Save our Oceans Part 1

Sustainability at Sea

The health of marine ecosystem is critical to sustaining life on the planet. Oceans need to be protected and managed as they provide food and livelihood to millions of people; serve as habitat for wide range of species; and govern the planet’s climatic systems. Sadly, for years, human activities have been affecting the marine environment, whether through bad fishing practices, pollution or illegal dumping.

Marintech Marketing recognizes and values the need that exists for us to work collaboratively with a variety of organizations in order to improve our world, community and the environment. If, like us, you care about the earth we live in, and love life out at sea, come speak with us. We’re always open to new ideas and collaborations. We also hope to spread the word about sustainability and marine conservation. Hopefully, our musings and thoughts in the form of educational articles will be able to help & raise awareness amongst the community.

Here is our first article in our “Sustainability at Sea” series : 5 Ways to Promote Sustainability at Sea Part 1″

1. Responsible & Sustainable Fishing

Millions of people living near seas rely on fish as a source of food and a means to earn livelihood. According to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 34.2% of the world’s total marine fish stock was overfished in 2017 (Source), which is a much higher percentage when compared to 10% for the year 1974. In addition, according to the recent estimates, the global per capita fish consumption peaked to 20.5 kg in 2018.

Today, with the advancement of technologies available such as global positioning systems and powerful transducers, or the increased number of huge trawlers equipped with nets and rollers pose risk to not just the fish population but also to the marine ecosystem.

Furthermore, unsustainable fish practices can lead to capturing of non-targeted fishes which often pose a threat to the survival of endangered species, which results in ecological imbalance in the marine environment due to disruptions to the food chain; reduced genetic diversity, and an associated decline in the nutrient cycling

  • Even if you don’t fish, you can certainly play a part in helping to save our oceans! Knowing what type of fishes to avoid when grocery shopping or dining at a restaurant is important too. WWF Singapore has an awesome brochure that lets you know what fishes to avoid which you can view in it’s entirety here or by click the picture below
Excerpt from WWF Singapore Seafood Guide
  • Get inspired! Did you know, realizing the threats posed to the marine environment, up to 90 of Singapore-based establishments have phased out shark’s fin, including brands such as Crystal Jade and Pan Pacific Hotels.
  • If you love fishing, do learn more about sustainable fishing techniques and no-fish spots in Singapore. NParks has a primer brouchure about this about this which you can read more about here or by clicking the picture below.
Excerpt from NParks Sustainable Fishing in our Seas
Hybrid Grouper aka Dragon Tiger Grouper
  • Did you know that hybrid groupers (aka Dragon Tiger Grouper) are an invasive species in our local waters? (Source) Originally bred as a hybrid species to increase grouper consumption demand, they hybrid grouper has escaped from fish farms into waters all over. Naturally resilient & fast growing due to the cross breeding, they are adept at surviving and tend to devastate the local eco system through their giant appetites. If you ever catch one, make sure to keep and eat (trust us, it’s delicious) it!
Marine Stewards
  • Know more about endangered or invasive fish species through Marine Stewards’ plethora of resources. They are a locally established NPO that seeks to educate and promote marine conservation & sustainable fishing practices in Singapore. You can check them out at https://www.marinestewards.org/. Help spread the word of both sustainable fishing practices and the incredible work they put into marine conservation! Or volunteer and join their cause as a citizen scientist!

2. Prevent Marine Pollution

Oceans are at risk due to the large amounts of waste and pollution dumped into waters. Tons of plastic waste is discarded in the marine environment annually. It has been projected, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish by weight. According to World Wide Fund for Nature (Source), Singapore discards about 700 million tons of plastic waste every year and less than 10% of it gets recycled. Besides industrial and domestic discharge, large quantities of plastic end up in seas during fishing activities, dumping of garbage at sea by commercial shipping or during recreational boating.

Given the fact that plastics take years to degrade so regardless of its source, the discarded plastics persist in the marine environment and accumulate in the food chain. Besides plastics, the use of boat cleaners also poses threat to marine ecosystem by releasing toxic chemicals such as phosphoric acid resulting in suffocating and killing millions of species.

  • If you’re chartering a boat, on a cruise or hopping on a friend’s boat for an adventure, avoid taking single-use plastic products along. Even if what you bring along isn’t plastic, never ever dump anything overboard!

  • If you’re a ship captain or crew, try sensitizing ship passengers about the harms of plastic pollution and spread the word of the pollution in our waters. Also, try to use eco-friendly boat cleaners. Most rust removers’ byproducts result in phosphoric discharge. Surface cleaners or fabric guards may also be having harmful substances in them. Do your best to read the labels and choose an eco-friendly product instead!
Our Singapore Reefs
  • If you’re a diver looking to volunteer or passionate about marine pollution, check out Our Singapore Reefs (OSR). They are a community of divers who loves Singapore’s coral reefs that were established to promote awareness about Singapore’s marine biodiversity. They also aim to empower the public with the means to help conserve and protect our local reefs. Do check out their awesome work where they go on diving trips to clean up our reefs! Check out more about them at https://www.facebook.com/oursingaporereefs/
  • If you’ve ever visited Pulau Ubin, Pulau Hantu or any of our beaches, you’d notice the considerable amount of rubbish that wash up on our beautiful shores. Even with the numerous groups and campaigns (There are far too many for me to list here, just a simple search on the web would net you numerous results!) to clean up the pollution, the problem continues to exist. If you have a pair of helping hands and some spare time, look up any of these initiatives and help clean our shores and seas!

  • If you’re passionate about helping prevent marine pollution and also own a boat, join a coastal or offshore island clean-up. Volunteer your boat for Seven Clean Seas and Singapore Marine Guide initiative #boatersagainstplastic.
Boaters Against Plastic Initiative

Join us again for part 2 of “5 Ways to Promote Sustainability at Sea” where we talk about safe anchoring, reef conservation and more invasive species from biofouling.