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BLUE Unveil Solent Oyster Plan

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Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) has revealed its plan to reintroduce oysters to the Solent. The Solent, the area of water in between the Isle of Wight and mainland England, was once thriving with oysters – so much so that it supported the biggest oyster fishery in Europe. BLUE are on course to re-seed oyster beds in the strait in the next four years.

Leading a coalition of stakeholders made up of fishermen, marine experts, local authorities, scientists and conservationists, BLUE is set to purchase 10 million hatchery-reared juvenile oysters to re-seed oyster beds and increase the coverage of oysters in the Solent by 2020, with the long-term aim of enabling the sustainable harvesting of oysters.

On the project, Charles Clover, Chairman of BLUE said: “Early signs from the Oyster broodstock programme at BAR Land Rover show that the technique of suspending cages of oysters under rafts in marinas can enhance the amount of oyster juveniles or ‘spat’ reaching the oyster beds.

“We are now ready to go a stage further.  The coalition has researched and developed a rigorous 5-year plan for oyster re-introduction. And we now seek contributions towards the £250,000 needed to re-seed ten million juvenile native oysters in the Solent.

“We are in talks with a number of local and national corporations who are keen to play their part in helping restore the Solent back to its former glory. It’s an incredibly exciting project to be involved in and one which is generating lots of interest both in the UK and overseas.”

The Solent’s oyster fishery, which dates back to Roman times, was the largest fishery in Europe for the native oyster, Ostrea edulis, as recently as 1978.  Until then, up to 450 boats were catching oysters in the Solent and adjacent inshore waters between Weymouth and Chichester, employing more than 700 men at sea and landing up to 15 million oysters a year. However, this level of fishing turns out to have been unsustainable, and, together with the effects of invasive species and disease, it eventually led to a collapse in numbers and the closure of the fishery in 2013. That ban remains in place two years on.

The native oyster has been identified as one of the most threatened species that requires conservation action at the national level – and is classified as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Dr Joanne Preston of Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Portsmouth, said: “So far the pilot study we are running has proved highly successful. We are testing the use of floating cages to house protected broodstocks of native Oysters. The real test will be how they grow during the summer months, and most importantly if they successfully reproduce. Once this novel method is optimized, we hope to scale this up across the Solent, providing a significant protected broodstock of oysters that can generate spat to re-populate the wild seabed population year after year.”

Dr Susie Tomson, Sustainability Manager of BAR Land Rover, said: We are very excited that the results of our pilot project at our Portsmouth base will contribute to BLUE’s 10 Million oyster initiative.  Through taking part in the recent America’s Cup World Series, we have created links with the Billion Oyster Project in New York Harbour. Helping to restore the native oyster, an important part of the local ecosystem, is one of many ways that we, as a sailing team with our Exclusive Sustainability Partner, 11th Hour Racing, are committed to protecting and raising awareness of our oceans and their ecosystems.”

The 10 million native oyster project offers an unprecedented opportunity to restore this keystone species and enable a wide-range of ecological and community benefits to the region:

Ecological Benefits:

Oysters provide significant benefits to the marine ecological services environment. Oysters improve water quality by filtering large volumes of water (a single native oyster can filter up to 200 litres of water a day).

Oysters also provide a habitat and rich food source for marine life and increase the productivity of the ecosystem. Restoring the oyster would therefore significantly improve the environmental conditions needed to support the Solent’s waterways – already surprisingly rich in biodiversity (its waters support migratory salmon and sea trout, and its natural harbours act as critical nursery areas for bass).

Community Benefits:

The project will start to provide a number of socio-economic benefits for the local community. By improving the marine conditions, the restoration of oyster habitats could help to boost some fish stocks and enhance the livelihoods of local fishermen.

One of the project’s long-term aims is to ensure a sustainable supply of oysters for harvesting. This will help re-establish an important strand of the economy on the south coast, as fishermen would be able to harvest and sell their oysters to local restaurants, hotels and the wider food industry.

Finally, the oyster’s ability to filter water will contribute to cleaner and clearer water for the enjoyment of those using the Solent for recreational activities.

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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