How the Oceaneers are moving us towards a plant-based future
By Skye Ayla Mallac, Freelance Writer
Have you ever thought about the direct impact of your food choices on the health of the oceans around you? How could a shift towards a more plant-based diet radically affect the restoration of aquatic ecosystems? Well, that might be a thought worth chewing on.
Kaspar Paur is a Swiss environmentalist and founder of the Muizenberg-based Oceaneers initiative, a growing community of marine enthusiasts seeking to spread their knowledge and have a positive impact on the oceans around them.
Their main focus is simply that: how do your food choices influence the health of the oceans? When industrial fishing results in 30-40% bycatch (marine animals that will not be eaten) as well as massive over-exploitation – which has brought many species to the brink of extinction – this question makes a lot of sense. At this point, it’s obvious that a plant-based diet directly reduces our impact on the planet. But what about when you have no choice?
This is something incredibly important in the South African context. The majority of South Africans live below the poverty line, making food choices like these nearly impossible. Over the years, Paur has become aware of the privileged place where these choices come from, and has guided Oceaneers towards more open and equity-informed conversations.
Think of it this way: Cape Town’s small fishing communities, particularly in Kalk Bay and Simonstown, depend solely on their catch to make a living. Take away their industry, and you take away their livelihood. Awareness of the socio-economic context when conducting any sustainable initiative is imperative. The Oceaneers are there to talk about the possibilities for change and create space to address this through candid conversations.
You too can be part of the movement by registering on their website. It’s easy, free, and you’ll get access to all of their gatherings and exclusive discounts from their brand partners.
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