The work of Ecoteer started by conserving turtles that live on and around the Reefs of the Perhentian Islands; the health of coral reefs is incredibly close to our heart. It’s why we started the Perhentian Marine Research Station.
The International Coral Reef Initiative declared 2018 as the International Year of the Reef to strengthen awareness, promote partnerships, and implement management strategies. We are aware that not everyone can travel the world and work to save coral reefs on the ground, but everyone can help. So here are our four ways you can help coral reefs in 2018.
Consider the chemicals.
Did you know the chemicals found in most sun-creams are incredibly toxic to corals and other marine life? Even ‘water resistant/proof’ sun-creams will wash off into the sea. You may be thinking “but I don’t have coral reefs anywhere around me!” The waters of the world are all connected. The chemicals will make their way into the sea, damaging marine life as they go. We aren’t saying don’t use sun-cream (skin health is very important!), but we are saying think carefully about which sun-creams you buy and use. There are chemical free, natural sun-creams available so do your research!
Watch what you eat.
Everything living on a reef has an important role; for example, sharks control populations; they ensure no one species takes over and eats all the food. If you take these important species out of an environment, you upset the delicate ecological balance. Make sure you know what you’re eating, and educate yourself on the endangered fish of the area you visit. Conch, shark, tuna, and grouper, are just a few groups to avoid, but it varies from place to place.
Kick your addiction to plastic.
Good advice for anyone wanting to help any form of environmental conservation, but very important here as it’s something you can do even if there aren’t coral reefs near you. Coral reefs around the world are drowning in plastic; bottles, lighters, toothbrushes, bags. It’s all there. So say no to that supermarket bag. Buy loose veg not packaged. If you just HAVE to wear glitter to that party, make sure it’s biodegradable. Small things really do make a difference.
Why not try citizen science?
If you feel you want to contribute to research efforts, there are a wealth of reef-related citizen science projects you can help with from the comfort of your own home.
“I won’t make a difference” – 7 Billion People. Everything adds up, so follow these tips, and do your part in the International Year of the Reef.
To find out more about the work and impact of the Perhentian Marine Research Station, click here