No Fish, No Future
Marine Stewardship Council: The MSC leverages the power of consumer choice via their simple Standard label. Fisheries that qualify to have the label displayed on their products meet criteria for 3 principles of operating sustainably: Sustainable fish stocks, minimizing environmental impact, and demonstrating effective fisheries management. These may seem like common sense, but as commercial fishing operations multiply to meet global demand, they’re routinely violated. MSC labels, which appear on tens of thousands of products in over 100 countries, allow you to speak with your wallet to help keep our oceans healthy and abundant, and steer the industry away from practices that, if left unchecked, could spell the end of all marine life on the planet.
Tide Turning Toxic Beaches
Mote Marine Lab: Mote is one of very few independent, nonprofit laboratories focused exclusively on marine research. Started by scientists in Florida and originally focused on sharks and manatees, the lab has grown to a staff of over 200, and addresses a broad spectrum of ocean issues worldwide. One of these is specifically focused on red tide: The Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative. With access to Mote’s 64 years of ocean science, the initiative is in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and focused on mitigating red tide’s impact, developing better detection systems, and using technology to empower citizen scientists to help in the effort.
SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK
Save the Great South Bay: The Great South Bay is the vast shallow lagoon on the southern shore of Long Island that once provided half of the hard-shell clams eaten in the entire United States. But postwar development meant the area’s smaller bays, creeks and estuaries (all of which run into the Bay itself) became inundated with toxins from septic tanks and fertilizer runoff, leading to conditions like brown tides, which decimated shellfish populations and made the water off once-popular beaches too hazardous to swim in. By advocating for local sewer construction, open space preservation, stricter fertilizer guidelines and waste-water technologies, Save the Great South Bay is focused on restoring this body of water to the once vital role it played in both the livelihoods and leisure activities of generations of Long Islanders.
SHARKS ARE SLAUGHTERED
Shark Stewards: This Bay-Area-based nonprofit is focused on saving sharks globally, from both overfishing and the horrifying practices of the fin trade. Through a mix of advocacy, research, ecosystem protection efforts, and educational outreach, Shark Stewards works to ban fin sales (both in the US and abroad), create shark sanctuaries, monitor fishing practices, and promote safe ecotourism as an alternative costal livelihood. Its campaigns have helped convince governments, fisheries, and even cargo companies to take measures to disrupt the systems that sustain fin markets, and these are combined with (and informed by) hands-on research focusing on the sharks that live in and around San Francisco Bay.