In celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8th, Environmental Defence and Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean WiseTM program, which has a satellite office in Toronto, teamed up to talk about what you can do to help protect not only our oceans, but the Great Lakes in Ontario as well. The water from all lakes and rivers eventually drains into the ocean. A drop of water in Lake Superior takes an average of two centuries to travel through each of the Great Lakes, down the mighty St. Lawrence River and into the Atlantic Ocean. Ontarians might not live next to the ocean, but their actions still have an impact. Here are five easy things you can do to protect the Great Lakes and our oceans.
#1 – Download the Ocean Wise application and only buy Ocean Wise seafood
The world’s marine life is quickly being depleted. An estimated 90 per cent of all large, predatory fish are already gone from the world’s oceans. The only solution to turn back from the brink is to begin consuming seafood in a more sustainable manner. The Ocean Wise iPhone application is a free tool that you can use to not only identify if the seafood you’re buying is from a sustainable source, but it can also help you find the partner restaurants and retailers in your area that offer Ocean Wise options, making it much easier to choose sustainable seafood.
#2 – Eat local, sustainable seafood from the Great Lakes
There are several Ontario lake fish options that are Ocean Wise recommended. This means that they are fished in a way that is low impact and ensures healthy ecosystems for generations to come. Furthermore, by selecting local seafood choices, we are supporting a strong Great Lakes economy, local fisheries, and jobs.
#3 – Be an educated and responsible angler and bait harvester
Invasive species can devastate local fisheries. That’s why we need to do what we can to stop new species, such as Asian carp, from setting up permanent shop in the Great Lakes. This means not buying, selling, or transporting live Asian carp. Also, make sure you always throw unwanted bait into the garbage and dump bait bucket water onto dry land away from water. Report any potential Asian carp sightings to invadingspecies.com, or at 1-800-563-7711.
#4 – Join the education campaign to spread the word about Asian Carp and the threats
Want to learn more? Watch this short video and read Environmental Defence’s report and about on how to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Share these links with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
You can also send a letter to Canada’s environment minister asking them to work with their American counterparts to get started on a permanent solution that will prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes and other Canadian waters.
#5 – Spread the Word on Social Media
On June 8th, send a tweet including both the @Ocean_Wise and @EnviroDefence Twitter handles using the hashtag #WorldOceansDay to tell us what action you will be taking this World Oceans Day, and you will be entered into a draw to win an Ocean Wise cookbook. Help us spread the word and keep our waterways healthy into the future.
Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise™ (oceanwise.ca)
Overfishing is the single biggest threat our oceans face today. Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. oceanwise.ca.
Environmenal Defence (environmentaldefence.ca)
We are Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all. environmentaldefence.ca.