sardines
By reducing our own intake of small species of fish, like anchovies, sardines (pictured), or even krill, the birds will have a better chance of finding their preferred food. Image Credit: Unsplash/Harris Vo

Global warming is affecting the weather, causing natural disasters to become more intense, and changing the way we live and travel. But nowhere is its impact more visible than in the ocean.

Click start to play today’s Crossword and find the word ‘coral’, which is one of the living organisms that’s most affected by rising temperatures.

While we wait for international agreements to be reached, and measures to be implemented around the world in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, coral reefs are continuing to get bleached white. Large schools of fish are leaving behind warm waters for more comfortable zones, compelling seabirds to follow them far away from the shores where they have been nesting for decades.

With so much change happening, we can do something to help right now, even as we wait for international governments to take effective action. Here are a few options, according to a May 2021 report in the National Geographic.

First, be selective about the fish you eat. According to a May 2021 study in the US-based journal Science, seaweed is an excellent indicator of coral loss. In areas where researchers found plenty of seaweed, 10 times more coral was lost, as compared to areas where seaweed was rare or absent. It’s because some of the chemicals in these plants can bleach corals if there is direct contact, and seaweed is also known for reducing oxygen content in the water. One of the best ways to help is to avoid fishing for or eating seaweed-consuming species of fish. Hawaii, US, has already put measures into place, limiting the intake of such fish.

Second, as bizarre as it sounds, we can avoid eating bird food. With warming waters and fish moving further into cooler zones of the oceans, birds are having to cover larger distances when foraging for food and returning to their nesting colonies. And since they need to catch about half their body weight in fish to survive, and more for their young, it’s getting even more difficult.

By reducing our own intake of small species of fish, like anchovies, sardines, or even krill, the birds will have a better chance of finding their preferred food closer to home.

Do you think you could make these choices to support marine and avian life? Play today’s Crossword and let us know at games@gulfnews.com.