Covid-19 regulations prevented everyone from enjoying our beaches over the festive season …confusion reigned over whether fishermen and surfers could make use of this natural source of food and entertainment but most of us probably didn’t even consider the life-giving ocean that lies beyond the forbidden golden sand.
Whilst many are fighting to breathe and crying out for bottled oxygen due to the debilitated by the effects of covid-19 pandemic our oceans – which provide every one of us with every second breath of air we breathe naturally – are also having the life choked out of them through plastic pollution.
Ocean Impact, a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating awareness around the importance of protecting our oceans have released a series of hard-hitting video campaign – #WeDon’tNeedOurOceans – showing what life would be like if we don’t change our outlook and take responsibility for the impact we all have on our oceans.
SAMA Award winning musician Matthew Mole recently breathed life into the campaign calling for increased ocean protection within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in South Africa, in partnership with local environmental NPO, WILDTRUST urging South Africans to change their ways in one of the most dramatic and stark reminders of how important our oceans are to our health and well-being.
South Africa is a country with over 3000km of coastline. NPO’s and government departments have already secured 5% of that as marine reserves and much is still being done to push for a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering at least 30% of the world’s oceans to prioritise the protection of those marine ecosystems that are crucial to keeping the planet healthy, providing everyone with much-needed oxygen through their ability to absorb and store carbon.
South Africa and KwaZulu Natal are known to have some of the world’s best ocean adventure destinations, and the coast provides countless activities – snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, shark diving, whale watching, coastal hiking, bird-watching and good surfing.
The ocean also adds a psychological benefit to people who engage with it, whale watching for example has been found to increase a person’s overall enrichment from the ocean.