By Wouter

Ocean Encounters’ pledge to sustainability in Curaçao #OEPledge

It’s no secret that our environment is facing a lot of challenges. Unfortunately, the biggest wrong-doer is human kind and now the ocean’s survival is being threatened.

What exactly is happening?

We all want to give a helping hand to help the environment. With each passing year, we see new challenges. Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our ocean.

  1. Water pollution coming from improper sewage treatment resulting in contaminated waters that harm our marine life.

 

  1. Plastic pollution coming from land-based or marine sources. Land-based sources include mismanaged waste and inadequately disposed plastic waste. Marine sources include fishing fleets that leave fishing nets, lines and ropes behind.

 

  1. Water temperatures getting higher. Marine animals are twice as likely to lose their habitats due to climate change as they have fewer ways to find refuge from the heat and are less capable of adapting to a warming planet.

 

  1. Reef damage due to toxic sunscreens. A 2015 study found that just a small amount of sunscreen containing oxybenzone builds up in coral tissues, affecting especially juvenile coral and causing DNA damage, abnormal growth and increased susceptibility to bleaching (causing eventual death).

 

  1. Ocean acidification due to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some organisms will survive or even thrive under more acidic conditions, but others will struggle to adapt and may even go extinct. Ocean acidification affects fishing, threatens food security, as well as tourism and other sea-related economies.

What can we do?

There are different ways one can lessen the impacts on the environment. Here are some simple steps you can take at home. Be conscious of the waste you produce and minimize it. Use less energy by turning off electronics when you are not using them, use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Refuse single use plastic in your day to day life.

At Ocean Encounters, we believe in educating, setting an example and making a change.

It is for this reason, that we have committed to making a strong eco-friendly presence with our green initiatives and have taken these to another level with our #OEPledge, our commitment to sustainability.

The #OEpledge shares the many different ways we have been involved in protecting the local waters, marine life, and community. Find out what we do in the graph below!

By Wouter

5 Ways to be Kinder to our Ocean

5 Ways to be Kinder to our Ocean

Did you know that 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based sources?  If you’re ready for your beach getaway, here are 5 ways you can be kinder to the ocean.

Produce minimal trash

Be conscious of the trash you are using and make sure to clean up after yourself. If you have a reusable water bottle, make sure to bring it! Curaçao’s tap water is safe to drink, it’ll save you a couple of bucks not having to stock up on bottles. Have an empty bottle? Check if there are any areas where you can recycle. If you’re visiting us, we have recycle trash bins right outside our shop.

Beach friendly gadgets you should know about: paper or bamboo straws, reusable water bottles, eco lunchboxes or snack containers, recycled beach bags.

Eat or hunt Lionfish

Curaçao has been one of the islands affected by the lionfish invasion. Studies have shown that lionfish can reduce native fish by 65%. It’s not shocking as these creatures can lay up to 30,000 eggs every few weeks and live up to 30 years. They also prey on the grazers and cleaners that ensure the health of corals!

If you see it on the menu try it out! Planning to dive and want to go hunting? We offer a weekly Lionfish Scuba Experience where we cull lionfish to help control its invasion. Get ready for some fresh sashimi at the end of your trip!

Be nice

Protect the underwater life! Please do not feed, touch, chase, or ride anything underwater. Animals can feel threatened and stressed due to your actions. Your actions can also interrupt feeding or mating. This can all result in aggressive behavior.

Use safe sunscreen

Did you know that recent studies have found that there are chemicals in many popular sunscreen brands that harm our corals?

Look for sunscreen that don’t contain biologically toxic chemicals such as Stream2Sea, Amavara, and All Good. Our beach shop only sells Stream2Sea products in our efforts to protect our ocean.

Support local leaders in sustainability

Support our leaders in sustainability. There are different entities working towards increasing awareness on sustainability and protecting the island’s marine life. Usually these tend to be non-profit organizations dependent on donations to keep moving forward.

Some of the entities we support are Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao, Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao and Limpi Curaçao. We have a variety of items for sale that contribute financially to these organizations. Check out our conservation corner!

These are just 5 simple steps you can take on your next vacation. But ultimately educating is one of the key elements! At Ocean Encounters we try our utmost best to be an example and commit to various practices promoting sustainable tourism.

Join our movement #OEPledge!