Joshua Richards: Society Damaging Marine Life

Photo Courtesy of Sandpaper Staff

Ambar Zamuria, Sandpaper Writer

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On the 23rd of August 2018, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Richards, a biology teacher that used to teach here at AVHS, through online social media. Mr. Richards has a deep inspiration for this topic. Here we discuss how our society is destroying our Marine life.

In your opinion, how do you feel about Society damaging Marine life?

“When I first learned about the impact that humans were making on our oceans, I was extremely frustrated. I couldn’t believe how careless our society had become, and how blind we were to the fact that ocean life was suffering because of us. I too was blind to the reality that I was part of the problem as well. I think we as a society have become conditioned to operate in a wasteful way (Single use plastics, food, energy, water, etc). It is a cycle I am trying to break for myself and my family.”

How do you think that we are affecting ourselves by harming Marine life?

“I think there are a lot of people out there that still do not realize the repercussions of our mistreatment of marine life. It is projected that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. This can have a huge impact on the over 2 billion people worldwide who depend on fish for their main source of protein. Sea level rise and increased oceanic temperature due to global warming also affect humans. Coastal communities are now more at risk for tropical storms and flooding if continued…, and increased temperatures in the oceans cause coral reefs to die, which affect the fish they depend on the reefs for shelter and food. The implications for our actions run much deeper than we realize.”

Do you agree or disagree that Marine life should be concerning just as much as any animal life? Why? 

“I believe that all animal life is sacred, whether it be land animals or sea animals. Humans are the keepers of animals, it is our responsibility to care for them and treat them with respect. We depend on them for food, transportation, companionship, and more. Extinction rates are exponentially higher than the normal rate, and nearly all of that is due to negative human impact. We have to value all animals more than we do now.”

If you have the capability to help the sea, what would your first step be?

“The first step for me is communicating the problem to the public. My Instagram page Captain Conservation (@capt.conservation) is a platform to discuss problems facing marine life (as well as other animal life). If you are wondering how you can make a difference, start with making changes in your own life. Don’t eat meat for at least 1-2 days out of the week, or completely cut beef out of your diet. Use a reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottles. Say no to straws when you go out to eat. Use less energy. Consider purchasing a gas efficient or electric vehicle, or even consider taking public transportation. After making these changes, spread the message. The more people that know about the problem, the better. Lastly, when it comes time to vote, elect candidates that fight on the side of saving our oceans and protecting our marine life. That is when the greatest change will happen. Small changes can eventually turn into a big impact.”