Dispose of trash properly. This will help reduce the amount of trash blown into the waterways or washed from storm drains into the sea. Light objects such as plastic bags can easily blow away. Never let it lay around outside. In the central North Pacific, researchers have found six pounds of broken, degraded plastic pieces plastic for every single pound of zooplankton. Plastic pollution negatively impacts trillions upon trillions of ocean inhabitants and ultimately humans.
Do not release balloons into the air as they will eventually land somewhere as trash. Many balloons end up in the ocean where marine animals mistake them for food.
Cut rings of plastic six-pack holders as this lowers the risk of fish and other forms of life getting entangled in them. Also snip the holders at home as sometimes dump truck loose trash on the way to the landfill.
Reduce (most effective), reuse (effective), and recycle (still pretty effective and certainly better than throwing away). Look for alternative materials or avoid excessive packaging when deciding on purchases. Take tote bags to the store to shop and Tupperware to the restaurant to take home food.
Do not dispose any fluids (paint, lawn debris, car fluids, trash) except for clean water down storm drains or roadways as it may end up in water courses and eventually in the sea. Also, maintain your car so that no oil and other fluids leak out. Use kitty litter and diapers to catch the fluids if you do have a leak.
Prevent soil and sediment from running into creeks. If you clear vegetation, set appropriate erosion control materials in place and revegetate the area as quickly as possible with native plants.
Do not support dams unless they are built in ways that allows for fish passage. Write letters to authorities to voice your opinion. Talk to people about it.
Participate in local beach, river or stream clean ups. Volunteer on the International Coastal Cleanup Day (next one: 01.01.2009). You can research online where the closest clean ups to your home town occur.
Pick up whatever trash you can even on days other than the International Coastal Cleanup Day. Donít be concerned with what people think of you. Instead be strong and set an example; and if someone asks you why you are doing that, you have an opportunity to educate them.
Fish your own fish with lines where it is legal and make sure you have a fishing license if your country requires you to possess one. This helps the fisheries management.
Don't use lead weights for angling, this is now illegal as lead is a toxic metal.
Discard hooks, nets, lines and weights responsibly as they are a potential threat to wildlife.
You probably have seen tuna cans with the dolphin save label in the stores. Unfortunately, that label does not guarantee that you are buying sustainably caught tuna. Bycatch of sharks, marine turtles, seabirds, small cetaceans, juvenile tuna, and other fish are frequently the result of catching tuna. You should be looking for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label as this is a simple way to identify fish from well-managed sources.
To help you find the best choices of seafood, good alternatives, and which seafood you need to avoid consult:
For North America: Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium
For Europe: Marine Conservation Society and WWF Switzerland
For Asia-Pacific: Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF Hong Kong
In the United States, 67% ($ value) of seafood is sold through restaurants. Make sure to ask the restaurant if their seafood is from environmentally friendly fisheries and fish farms.
If stores donít have responsibly caught and/or farmed fish, ask the manager if he or she could order it. If necessary collect signatures from the community to show the manager that other people are also interested. Businesses do listen to their customers.
Be willing to pay a higher prize not only for healthy but also for responsibly caught or farmed fish. Even though unsustainably caught or raised fish may be cheaper, you will eventually pay the prize, most likely in form of taxes, to save them.
Educate (but donít preach) others about the suggestions listed above. Whenever you can, set an example by following the above list. People will catch on even if it takes while.
Join Endangered Species International