If you own or sail a boat, join millions of others making small changes to make a big difference to our oceans and marine wildlife. The Green Blue is a site packed with info and recommendations for eco-friendly boaters. Also read Sustainable Sailing, for tips on to reduce a sailor’s carbon footprint.
- If you fish, read how to prevent ghost fishing waste (this post includes ways to safely recycle fishing line without using receptacles that resemble nesting sites, using alternative methods protects birds as well as ocean creatures).
- Donate boat sails. Old sails are made from strong material, which is good to make items like grocery bags (most makers will give you a free tote in return for donating). Sailcloth is very flammable, so don’t use it for furnishings like curtains etc.
One must be careful regarding ‘ocean cleaning devices’. Although invented for good intentions, reports suggest that these items (that use technology to clean plastic from the oceans) suck up marine creatures at a rate of around one per every 3 littered items.
Ryan Stuart says ‘removing plastic from the ocean is a losing game’ and suggests what we should do instead. He notes of marine biologists who have expressed concern over using ‘technology’ to clean up ocean plastic (most of which cannot be collected, as it is broken down into millions of pieces of microplastics, with just 3% of the world’s ocean plastic floating on the surface). Instead, he suggests the solutions are more long-term and organic than that: use less plastic, recycle it properly after use, and volunter to clean up a beach, river or canal in your community or abroad.
- Use a funnel to change oil and antifreeze (lethal to pets and wildlife – have your boat mechanic change it in an enclosed area, to keep antifreeze out of our seas.
- Take a 4-day course with WiSe Scheme to learn how to be a wildlife-friendly boater. Ideal for charter companies, 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 to enter/exit swimming pools if safe to do so (dogs can easily cramp, so never leave unattended in water).