The crisis going on in our oceans right now is nothing new. For some time now we have idly let our seas fill further up with our unwanted plastic. All marine life is affected, and while the harrowing images we’ve all seen of turtles choking on plastic bags are frequently implemented to tug on our heartstrings, we must not become desensitised and accustomed to these images. The oceans of the world are as deep as they are wide, and it is not just the coral reef ecosystems being threatened. Down in the inky blackness in the deepest, darkest depths of the seas life, microscopic or otherwise, is brimming away where none of us can see it. It may not look as sexy on a poster as a school of dolphins, but that’s beside the point. To forget about them is to condemn them. If our plastic waste isn’t floating on the titanic garbage patches on the surface, then it is sinking - and sinking where? To the ocean floor. Places like the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on earth, are a common reference point for this, and despite submarine films and media glamourising it these environments are unbelievably harsh. Not as harsh as the power of plastic though, which still absolutely does not break down; such is its resilience. And so there it remains to contaminate the deep sea creatures that are the true foundation of life on earth, genetically predating us all as they huddle around the volcanoes on the ocean floor.
The paddling pig in the shallows is an image strong with the SeaPigs brand, and it was chosen with good reason. There is also a duality to this with the message we’re discussing in this blog, in that there is an actual species of Sea Pig. It’s also known as a Scotoplane. It lives deep in the midnight depths, and as with most of the creatures that do, it’s not really that pretty. Here it is:
Sea Pigs rely on extracting minerals from the mud and scum that coats the ocean floor. Of all the animals present at the bottom of the ocean, sea pigs are estimated to hold approximately 95% of the total density. Clearly, there is no short supply of these, as they are only as big as the palm of your hand. How can they continue being a major part of the deep sea ecosystem when the soil they are drawing from is littered with micro plastics that will contaminate them? They rely on the current to help them detect further food sources, and face it at all times. One can see how this may turn out - a harmless sea pig getting swept away amongst nets dumped by trawler-men.
The danger faced by the real sea pigs is another key part of the SeaPigs brand and what we value. It’s not all about appearances for us - a photo opportunity with a troubled whale and that’s us done for the day. We know that even in the deepest recesses of the ocean the plastic problem is working its way through the environment and wreaking havoc, and it is a part of our commitment as a brand to doing what we can to stop the REAL Sea Pigs from befalling a terrible fate just as much as the cuddly creatures we all know and love.