As sports fisherman, it is our duty and in our best interest to protect the world’s oceans. Sure, practicing catch and release is great, but we need to do a lot more. Yes, the oceans are vast, but they are not immune to human influence. Humans have already altered or destroyed many marine ecosystems and driven million-year-old species to the brink of extinction. According to a study published in Science Magazine, less than 4 percent of the oceans remain unaffected by human activity.
In the last few decades, commercial fishing has evolved into a high-tech, heavily subsidized industry that uses cutting-edge electronics, computer systems, huge amounts of fuel and miles of gear to find and catch more fish in remote places formerly out of bounds to fishermen. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says that at least 75 percent of seafood species are overexploited, fully exploited or recovering from depletion and need more effective and precautionary management.
Destructive fishing practices that include drift nets, longlines and bottom trawls are ruining ocean ecosystems by indiscriminately killing fish and other wildlife, including seabirds and marine mammals. Each year, more than 16 billion pounds of by-catch are thrown overboard thanks to wasteful fishing techniques. Bottom trawls drag heavily weighted nets along the ocean floor in search of fish or crustaceans; it’s like clear-cutting a forest in order to catch a rabbit! Centuries-old habitats such as coral gardens are destroyed in an instant by these bottom trawls, pulverized into barren wastelands. Endangered sea turtles drown on longline hooks while sharks have their fins sliced from their bodies, which are then tossed overboard. We’re in major crisis mode here.
The good news is that we can restore our oceans to their former glory! Ocean Kings is committed to helping that happen by donating 5% of all our profits to Oceana.
Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Their offices in North America, South America and Europe work together on a limited number of strategic, directed campaigns to achieve measurable outcomes that will help return our oceans to former levels of abundance.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Simply purchasing Ocean Kings gear is a great way to contribute to the cause of saving our planet’s oceans. But if you want to do more, start by visiting Oceana.org and sign up to become a Wave Maker. It’s fast, free and a great way to stay informed about direct ways that you can help.
Remember, no fish = no fishing and no ocean = no life as we know it. So whether you choose to help through your purchase from Ocean Kings or you go directly to Oceana.org, just make sure you’re doing something.