Mission: Save The Ocean

We're on a mission to save the ocean and all of the beautiful species within it. Mission: Save the Ocean is a TV-documentary series produced by the United Postcode Lotteries as part of Postcode Lottery Project Oceans, raising awareness of the plight of the oceans.

As a member of the OceanElders, I'm honoured to narrate the series from Necker Island, sharing the stories of people trying to make a difference for the world’s oceans. You can watch the series on Nat Geo Wild from today and on National Geographic Channel on the 10th, 17th and 24th of October.

The OceanElders believe that there are plenty of fish in the ocean to feed the world if fishing is managed properly and done in a sustainable manner. This also needs politicians to make sensible rules and regulations, and for the fishing community to work together with politicians and authorities to protect certain threatened areas and avoid overfishing.

There are sadly many examples around the world where this has not happened and it has gone horribly wrong. One such example is the parable of the Clyde, which The Economist has documented in this excellent article on the devastation of a fishery. It shows just what not to do, and how politicians and the fishing community have let everybody down in such a dramatic way in this instance.

Richard swimming with tiger sharks - photo by Shawn Heinrichs

If you overfish a whole region, the fish can never come back, whole livelihoods get lost and the balance in the sea can be lost forever. The whole fishing community and everyone interested in the wellbeing of the ocean has got to look after species under the sea as much as species we can see on land.

There is some fantastic work being done to protect species such as rhinos, tigers, lemurs and other animals on earth, but we’ve got to pay just as much attention to the creatures under the sea. One of the organisations leading the way is WildAid, who work closely with Virgin Unite, but much more needs to be done.

This month, the European Union will vote on a proposed ban on deep-sea bottom trawling, which could the seas and fish stocks some much-needed breathing space. Deep-water trawling should be consigned to history – read Nature’s piece on this vital issue to find out more.

If we do manage the ocean properly, there is plenty to go around for everybody. There are plenty of fish in the sea – but only if they are conserved and protected by everybody on land.

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