We are on our third year organizing “Taste of the Sea” A Grand Chef Competition and Seafood Tasting event to benefit the Sea delight Ocean Fund. The idea is to raise funds so that we can continue supporting global fishery improvement projects and education programs.
“Must protect the oceans and marine life.” I get it. But some people don’t understand this. To speak to them about the importance of marine conservation and the impact that fishing activities have in this delicate ecosystem is challenging. And asking them to buy a ticket to support a cause they don’t understand can be very difficult.
A really good friend of mine (who didn’t know who Guy Harvey is) told me <and I quote>:
“just as I had no clue of who this guy was, most won’t unless they are into this specific marine life thing, you want to recruit way more people than that in order to raise some serious money […] the guys’ book signed might be an added bonus, but […] is not going to be what will make me want to buy a $100 ticket.”
And these are exactly the people we need to recruit. Not because we can “raise some serious money” but because they do not understand seafood sustainability or why we should care about marine conservation.
So it dawned on me, what drives these people to spend over $5 K at night club VIP section, but will be hesitant to buy a $100 ticket for a fundraiser for marine conservation? How do I successfully make the argument that marine conservation and that we should care about sustainable seafood?
Maybe the message needs to be simplified; diluted enough just so we can get their foot in the door. Maybe we need to learn how connected we all are to the ocean. Thankfully, The Nature Conservancy had the perfect answer:
The air we breathe. Oceans are a critical player in the basic elements we need to survive. Ocean plants produce half of the world’s oxygen, then these amazing waters absorb nearly one-third of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. Oceans also regulate our weather and form the clouds that bring us fresh water.
The food on your plate. Besides seafood, oceans are connected to what you eat in many more ways. Ocean ingredients, like algae and kelp, are used in making peanut butter beer, soymilk and frozen foods. Plus, 36 percent of the world’s total fisheries catch each year is ground up into fishmeal and oil to feed farmed fish, chickens and pigs.
The items in your medicine cabinet. You’ll find ocean ingredients flowing out of your medicine cabinet in everything from shampoos and cosmetics to medicines that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, viruses and other diseases.
Jobs and the economy. One in six jobs in the United States is marine-related and more than $128 billion in GDP annually results from ocean tourism, recreation and living resources. Healthy marine habitats like reefs, barrier islands, mangroves and wetlands help protect coastal communities from the results of hurricanes and storm surges.
A shared resource. While many of us enjoy the spectacular recreational activities that oceans offer, for some people oceans are a lifeline for survival. Keeping oceans healthy keeps people healthy, and we each have a personal responsibility to protect our oceans.
You can read the full article here
Protecting the ocean is more than saving turtles, dolphins, species affected by overfishing, etc. Protecting the oceans is protecting the way we ALL live and securing our livelihoods for the future.
At the end, I think this is the argument I must (and will) successfully make.