Let’s take care of the sea
In March, special observances will be held to draw our attention to our responsibility for the management and exploitation of the world’s seas. World Maritime Day is celebrated on March 17, and March 22 is the annual observance of Baltic Sea Day as well as of World Water Day.
The seas are our shared common resource. They produce the most of the planet’s available oxygen and also regulate the climate. They are the habitat of thousands of marine animal species. They help us to maintain many of our economic sectors and they provide us with nourishment. Many international organizations start voicing ever stronger demands for the protection of the marine environment. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was created as early as 1948, and World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, to mark the date of its founding. Currently, the organization comprises 172 countries. It sets the regulations for maritime transport, in such a way as to counteract the environmental contamination generated by its operations. It also addresses the maritime safety as well as the problems of people who inhabit the seashores.
Baltic Sea Day is a relatively recent observance, as it was established in 1997 by the Helsinki Commission. The organization focuses on the significance of maritime transportation and maritime safety, the protection of the marine environment and the issues of people whose livelihood depends on the sea. Taking into account its relative shallowness, low salinity levels and the fact that it is semi-enclosed (landlocked), as well as utilized by many highly industrialized nations, it becomes of utmost importance that protective measures are taken to look after the Baltic Sea ecology. Each and everyone of us can assist in protecting the Baltic Sea ecosystem.
Greenpeace advises us on what we can do:
- save water,
- use biodegradable detergents,
- tend your garden without resorting to the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers,
- ensure that no sewage is released directly into our streams and rivers,
- while enjoying your seaside holiday, do not leave any litter on the beaches and help to protect the dunes.
While doing your shopping, remember to:
- use the “Dobra Ryba” guide – do not purchase fish from the Red List, and select shops that follow the responsible fish and seafood procurement policies
- ask the retail staff to provide you with the exact name of the species or with its Latin equivalent. Frequently several different species can be marketed under one commercial name
- select fish that is caught locally or reared in local fisheries. In this way, you will support the local fishing industry
- familiarize yourself with a list of “responsible” retailers.