If you own a boat (lucky you!) or sail in one, here are tips to make the ocean waves a little greener. Millions of boats sail on our waters, so it pays to be discerning on products you use, and the way you sail. The Green Blue is a site packed with info and recommendations. Read Sustainable Sailing, for tips on to reduce a sailor’s carbon footprint.
Preventing Marine Litter
Sunday on the Mere by Cyndi Speer
- Discarded fishing line and tackle is a big problem in our seas, and some recycling bins attracting nesting birds and small mammals, that get tangled in the line. Read how to prevent ghost fishing waste for more info. Monomaster is a little gadget to store fishing line until you can securely dispose of it. Small enough to fit in vest pockets and tackle boxes, just feed one end of line in the slit, turn the handle and store in the container. Once in a safe place, push the handle sideways with your thumb, take off the cap, take out the spindle, cut the line and dispose of securely. Once cleaned, replace the spindle and cap.
- Seabin Project is used to catch marina trash. As long as you immediately release water, caught creatures can escape. It doesn’t catch microplastics because it’s designed to let small creatures pass through.
- You can donate boat sails to make into totes, and often receive a free tote in return. Although strong, sailcloth is highly flammable, so don’t buy flammable furnishings made with it (like curtains etc).
- Oil spills cause birds to lose insulation/waterproofing (they freeze or drown). Use a funnel to change oil and antifreeze (lethal to pets, let your boat mechanic change it – see how to keep antifreeze out of our seas.
- Wildlife-friendly boaters can take a 4-day course with WiSe Scheme and get a flag for your boat. This is ideal for charter companies, and you can use the certificate on your marketing literature and website.
- If boating abroad, follow codes to help endangered dugongs and manatees (‘sea cows’). Manatees live in Florida/Caribbean, dugongs in Australia (fluked tails). The main threats are fast boats, jet-skis and loss of habitat.
- Doggy Docks make it easier for dogs to use boat platforms, and can also be used for dogs to enter and exit swimming pools, if safe to do so (dogs can easily cramp, so never leave unattended in any water).