4Ocean is partnering with SeaLegacy throughout the month of August to advocate for marine protected areas and support sustainable fisheries around the world. Photo by Paul Nicklen
For thousands of years, we’ve been fishing the ocean as if its supply of fish was endless. As modern technology has become more efficient, so has our ability to catch seafood. We now have the ability to wipe out entire populations of fish in a very short period of time. It turns out that even the ocean’s bounty isn’t limitless.
Overfishing happens when fish are caught faster than they can reproduce. Over time, this practice damages biodiversity and endangers critical habitats and species, pushing many to the brink of extinction. It also creates smaller populations of critical fish, depletes the size and quality of catches in fisheries around the world, and threatens global food security.
Many harmful fishing practices, like long-lining and drift netting, and fishing gear, like gill and purse-seine nets, are associated with overfishing. When this gear becomes too old to be effective, it’s often dumped on shore or cut loose into the open ocean. Abandoned and lost fishing gear makes up 10 percent of all ocean litter. Countless animals are injured as they attempt to escape and hundreds of thousands die when they cannot.
Why we partnered with SeaLegacy
SeaLegacy is an impact-driven nonprofit organization founded by world famous wildlife photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen. Through their global expeditions, which produce rare and stunning visuals, SeaLegacy helps expose the impact of human activities like overfishing where most of us would never see it. They take us beneath the thin blue line to showcase both the beauty and threats found beneath the ocean’s surface. The goal is to unite the voices of many and drive action for ocean conservation so we have healthy, abundant oceans that outlast generations to come.
Swordfish entangled in a driftnet // Photo by Paul Nicklen
SeaLegacy has already made progress in helping communities shift to more sustainable fishing practices
Through heartwrenching photography and a community galvanized by their public awareness campaign, SeaLegacy successfully helped petitioned California to ban the use of indiscriminate driftnets — and won.
A SeaLegacy petition signed by over 100,000 people recently introduced a state senate bill (SB 1017), which successfully made its way through the Assembly. It’s the first time this kind of bill has made it to the California Senate, where continued pressure give it a good chance of becoming law.
It also galvanized Senator Dianne Feinstein to introduce a senate bill that would phase out driftnet usage in all US waters by 2020 while encouraging more sustainable fishing practices.
SeaLegacy has additional expeditions and active campaigns that advocate for marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries
How the 4Ocean Limited Edition Overfishing Bracelet helps
“What we do or fail to do in the next five to ten years is going to determine what our oceans look like for the next ten thousand years,” says Cristina Mittermeier, Co-founder of SeaLegacy
All of our products pull a pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines, which helps remove plastic and discarded fishing gear from the areas where it’s doing harm. When you purchase the Limited Edition Overfishing Bracelet, you pull a pound of trash and support SeaLegacy’s work to expose the impact of overfishing and drive action that helps protect overfished species, including advocacy for marine protected areas and support for sustainable fisheries. This limited edition bracelet is only available through August 2018, so get yours now.
Other ways to support SeaLegacy
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Our latest shoreline cleanup at Matheson Hammock proved just how much trash can become trapped in mangroves habitats. With hundreds of participants at the cleanup, it is no wonder we collected over 5,000 pounds of trash and recyclables!