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SDG14 – Promoting the Conservation of Sea Life in the Workplace

Promoting the conservation of sea life in the workplace aims to provide knowledge and understanding of the importance of preserving and protecting marine life and ecosystems. It will also explore the actions that can be taken in the workplace to support the conservation of sea life. As the health of our oceans is closely tied to the overall health and well-being of the planet, businesses and organisations need to consider the impact of their operations on the marine environment. By promoting the conservation of sea life in the workplace, we can work towards a more sustainable and healthy future for both people and the planet.

Conservation of sea life

Marine resources refer to the resources found in the ocean, including fish, shellfish, and other sea life, as well as minerals, oil, and other natural resources. Clean water is free from contaminants and pollutants and is safe for drinking, bathing, and other uses. In a working environment, marine resources and clean water may be relevant in industries such as fishing, oil and gas, and water treatment, as well as any industry that relies on the ocean or water resources for its operations.

Marine resources

Marine resources refer to the natural resources in the ocean and coastal areas, such as fish, shellfish, algae, and other aquatic life. These resources are often used for food, medicine, and other commercial and recreational purposes. The conservation of marine resources refers to protecting and managing these resources to ensure their sustainability and maintain the health of marine ecosystems.

These resources are under threat due to various factors, including overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Overfishing can lead to the depletion of fish populations, while pollution can harm marine ecosystems and create unhealthy conditions for sea life. Climate change can cause ocean acidification and sea level rise, negatively impacting marine resources.

  1. Overfishing: Overfishing refers to the practice of removing more fish and other marine species from the ocean than can be replenished. This can lead to declines in fish populations, harm marine ecosystems, and destroy habitats such as coral reefs. Overfishing also contributes to biodiversity loss, as species that rely on fish for food or habitat are also impacted.
  2. Pollution: Pollution, including plastic pollution, oil spills, and chemical pollution, is a major threat to the health of marine ecosystems and the species that depend on them. Plastic pollution, for example, can entangle and kill marine animals, and chemical pollution can harm or kill marine species through toxic exposure.
  3. Climate Change: Climate change is also affecting marine resources and ecosystems. Warmer ocean temperatures lead to coral bleaching and the destruction of coral reefs, which are vital habitats for many marine species. Rising sea levels and ocean acidification, caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, also impact marine resources and ecosystems.

These factors, and others, are leading to the decline of marine resources and ecosystems, and we must take action to reduce their impacts and protect the health of our oceans. This can be done through measures such as sustainable fishing practices, reducing plastic pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow the pace of climate change.

Affected industries

Many industries rely on the ocean for their livelihoods and the goods and services they provide. Some of the main industries that rely on the ocean include:

  1. Fishing and Aquaculture: Fishing and aquaculture are two of the largest industries that rely on the ocean. They provide a source of food and livelihood for millions of people worldwide. However, overfishing and other unsustainable practices can lead to declines in fish populations and harm marine ecosystems, which can affect the viability of these industries.
  2. Shipping and Transport: Shipping and transport are major industries that rely on the ocean for the transport of goods and commodities around the world. The lack of sustainability in these industries can lead to oil spills, the release of greenhouse gases, and other environmental impacts, which can harm marine life and coastal communities.
  3. Tourism: The tourism industry also relies on the ocean, as many people travel to coastal destinations to enjoy the beaches, coral reefs, and other attractions. The degradation of marine resources, such as coral reefs, can reduce the appeal of these destinations and harm the tourism industry.
  4. Energy: The ocean is also a source of energy, including offshore wind energy and wave energy. The lack of sustainability in these industries can lead to the destruction of marine habitats and the release of pollutants, which can harm marine life and ecosystems

Negative impacts

Excessive use of single-use plastic can negatively impact an organisation in several ways. Firstly, it can contribute to marine pollution, leading to the death of sea life and damaging the marine ecosystem. Secondly, it can also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which can contribute to climate change. Providing unhealthy seafood can also negatively impact an organisation, leading to consumer complaints, negative publicity, and damage to the company’s reputation. Additionally, if clean water is unavailable, it can lead to health issues for employees and customers, leading to decreased productivity and financial losses.

Plastic pollution in oceans and other bodies of water continues to grow sharply and could more than double by 2030, according to an assessment released in 2021 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Case Study: Conservation of Sea Life

Lighthouse is a popular restaurant chain based in Saltburn by the Sea, Whitby and Bridlington, known for its seafood-focused menu. As a business operating in coastal communities, Lighthouse recognised the importance of promoting the conservation of sea life and the importance of sustainable seafood practices.

To achieve this goal, Lighthouse took a number of actions to promote the conservation of sea life in their workplace and operations.

Lighthouse worked closely with local fishermen and suppliers to source sustainably caught and responsibly managed seafood. They also worked with organisations like the Marine Stewardship Council to ensure that their seafood was certified as sustainable.

Lighthouse developed a comprehensive sustainable seafood policy outlining its commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood and promoting sea life conservation. The policy was shared with employees, customers, and suppliers to ensure everyone was aware of their efforts.

Lighthouse provided training and resources for their employees and customers to help them understand the importance of sustainable seafood practices and the impact of overfishing and other threats to sea life.

Lighthouse made a financial commitment to support conservation initiatives and organisations that were working to promote the conservation of sea life and protect the oceans.

The result of these actions was significant. Lighthouse was able to promote sustainable seafood practices and reduce the impact of its operations on sea life and the environment. They also received positive feedback from their customers, who appreciated their commitment to sustainability and efforts to promote sea life conservation.

Lighthouse’s commitment to promoting the conservation of sea life has helped set an example for other businesses in the seafood industry and has contributed to developing a more sustainable and responsible industry. Lighthouse has demonstrated that businesses can achieve financial success and environmental sustainability by promoting sea life conservation.

Promoting the conservation of sea life in a work environment

Positive Actions

Sustainable Development Goal 14 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. In the workplace context, this goal can be achieved by promoting the conservation of sea life and reducing the negative impacts of human activities on the oceans.

Here are some ways that businesses can contribute to achieving SDG14 in the workplace:

  1. Sustainable seafood sourcing: Encouraging the use of sustainable seafood in company canteens and other catering services can help reduce the pressure on overfished species and promote the conservation of sea life.
  2. Reducing plastic pollution: Implementing waste reduction and recycling programs that focus on reducing plastic waste, such as single-use plastics, can help minimise the impact of plastic pollution on the oceans and marine life.
  3. Supporting marine conservation: Supporting marine conservation efforts, such as marine protected areas and sustainable fishing practices, can help protect and conserve sea life and marine ecosystems.
  4. Raising awareness: Raising awareness about the importance of marine conservation and the impacts of human activities on the oceans, such as plastic pollution and overfishing, can help mobilise support for conservation efforts.
  5. Minimising the environmental impact of business operations: Minimising the environmental impact of business operations, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, can help reduce the overall impact of human activities on the oceans and marine life.

By implementing these and other sustainable practices, businesses can play an important role in promoting the conservation of sea life and ensuring the sustainable use of the oceans and marine resources. This can help protect marine ecosystems and the species that depend on them and support the long-term health and productivity of the world’s oceans.

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