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World Oceans Day ‐ 8 June

24 May 2013

In 2009 the United Nations passed a resolution officially recognising 8 June as World Oceans Day. Why not take this opportunity to think what the ocean means to you and share those thoughts with your family?

Blue Planet

Nearly 70% of the earth's surface is covered by ocean. It is a vast and powerful resource, but it is not impervious to human destruction. We are all connected by the ocean in one way or another, be it geographically, nutritionally or anecdotally. 

Love thy neighbour

The South African coastline stretches more than 2,500km making the ocean our biggest neighbour. We are also the only country in the world to border both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, so we have a big stake in marine conservation. Even if you live hundreds of kilometres from the coast, your actions affect the sea.

We may think of CO2 as something that affects our air and land, but carbon emissions directly affect the ocean too. Every time we boil the kettle, charge a cell phone, drive in a car or in any other way create carbon emissions, we’re directly causing the acidification of the ocean and the harmful disruption of marine life that results. 

The ocean can absorb about two-thirds of the carbon emissions in the atmosphere, but the more CO2 it tries to absorb, the more acidic it becomes and its delicate marine systems are disrupted. This altered pH causes everything from the softening or thickening of crustacean shells to the bleaching of corals to the overabundance of jellyfish. 

Human error

In addition to our carbon footprint, humans need food. Overfishing and poor fishing practices are a major environmental concern. Seafood is not an infinite resource and it is estimated that by 2050 all the earth's fish stocks will be depleted if we do not change the way we consume now.

Action for oceans

Pick n Pay was the first retailer in Africa to commit to stock only sustainably sourced seafood by the end of 2015.

You can do your bit for ocean conservation by following these steps:

  • Look out for MSC-certified Pick n Pay-branded hake available in most stores countrywide.
  • Always choose sustainable seafood (listed as 'green' by WWF-SASSI).
  • Conserve energy and water in your home.
  • If you have a choice, always choose an eco-friendly, 'green' product.
  • Buy locally grown, seasonal foods.
  • Reduce your carbon emissions through simple lifestyle changes (i.e. walk, bike, carpool, and take public transport).
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