My name is Alfonso Peters, I am a professional surfer and surf coach from Muizenberg, Cape Town. I won Western province champs in 2014, the Tigers Milk Classic last year and have just returned from Papua New Guinea where I represented South Africa at the World Longboard Champs. My goals are to compete at more international events and to win the world champs.
I believe that marine health should be at the top of the environmental agenda because, firstly oceans cover ¾ of our planet, they hold over 90% of the planets water – an important point if one considers the droughts around the world and the possibility of large scale desalination of water for use in cities by the people for agriculture, potable and non-potable water.
The ocean produces more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere and absorbs most of the carbon dioxide from it. A very important fact if one considers the impact of climate change on our lives.
The ocean also provides us with food, medicines and a possibility to generate income through fishing and tourism. The marine ecosystem is a closely intertwined living moving ‘society’, each member relies on the health and exostance of the next. If one species dies out it impact on all the creatures and life above and below it in the ecosystem. This will have a diabolical effect on all the above mentioned uses – food, fishing and tourism. Furthermore, maintaining ocean health means that future generations will have the privelage of enjoying the sealife we have today as well as the beaches and seas that we enjoy.
I am picking up litter during surf lessons and I encourage others to do the same. When sea animals see the plastic floating through the ocean they mistake it for food, causing them to dies slowly from starvation.
I remind my students how precious and important the ocean is which is easy to do with children who clearly already love the sea.
I consume and purchase sustainable seafood (I have the WWF SASSI app which is convenient for identifying the sustainability of the product before I purchase it)
I try to maintain a small carbon footprint ? as carbon dioxide causes the oceans to become more acidic, this causes coral bleaching and loss of habitat for the sea life that depends on it.