Recently I returned from a photographic Alaskan adventure. To witness Sea Lions, Humpback and Orca Whales in the wild (as well as Brown Bears and Bald Eagles) was just beautiful and moving. It again was an important reminder to treasure our oceans and to personally take responsibility for my own lifestyle’s impact on the environment. Check out more of my Alaskan images at Sarhn McArthur Photography.
There have been two very simple lifestyle changes, I personally have made which will make a positive difference to the health of our oceans. Firstly, I have limited the amount of ‘single life’ plastic bags in my life i.e. next time you go shopping, say “No thank you” to accepting plastic shopping bags. Check out Tim Silverwood’s blog for more ways to help clean up our oceans of plastic (Tim is an environmentalist – a plastic pollution educating legend).
The second way to very easily make a positive difference to the health of our oceans, is to choose fish you buy wisely. This is a topic I have blogged about before, which is probably why Taronga Zoo invited me to experience their ‘fish 4 life’ program yesterday.
Despite the gloomy Sydney weather, Brett & I thoroughly enjoyed our ‘Sea lion’ encounter and ‘fish 4 life’ education. In fact I personally found the whole experience positive, heart felt and inspirational.
Seven years ago, the Sea Lion zoo keepers and handlers made a pack amongst themselves that they would only purchase sustainable seafood for their own consumption. It was this commitment that inspired Taronga’s ‘fish 4 life’ program – which is all about educating people as to what seafood is best to buy to ensure there will be plenty to go around for all species and for future generations.
The message at the Sea Lion show was crystal clear, ‘your choices can make a positive difference to our marine environment’.
Brett & I were privileged to meet Nala, an Australian Sea Lion and the ‘face’ of Taronga’s ‘Fish 4 Life’ program. (above photo, bottom left: Brett & I with Nala)
Nala and Tarong’s staff educated us about the Marine Stewardship Council’s ‘Certified Sustainable Seafood’ guide (MSC for short). With experts, the MSC developed standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability. They ensure that MSC labelled seafood comes from, and can be traced back to, a sustainable fishery. Basically they have done all the hard work, so all we need to do is look for their logo when we go grocery shopping for ocean marine seafood.
Taronga’s Facebook page can also be of assistance in finding stores near you that sell sustainable seafood. By the way, Taronga’s ‘Cafe Harbourview’ is the first cafe/restaurant in Australia to be given the MSC certification i.e. all the seafood sold is MSC certified.
It is commendable that Woolworths has partened with Taronga so to help its customers make informed decisions about the sustainability of their seafood choices purchased from their Woolworths stores.
Speaking with Woolworths Head of Sustainabiltiy yesterday, I learnt that Woolworths has introduced a pilot trial for its star rating ‘how to pick sustainable seafood’ system in four Sydney stores:
- Woolworth’s Bondi Junction store
- Woolworths’s Eastgardens store (which is where we shop)
- Two Woolworths’s Neutral Bay stores
The above ‘How to Pick Sustainable Seafood guide’ will provide Woolworths’ customers with easy to understand information on making their seafood choices.
In closing I wish to whole-heartily thank Taronga for the invitation to meet Nala, the zoo keepers and staff yesterday. Also thank you for sharing about Taronga’s ‘Fish 4 Life’ program with us. I highly recommend everyone visit Taronga soon and attend their free Sea Lion show – learn about the positive difference we all can make for the marine life and oceans.