June 8th 2021 is World Ocean Day. World Ocean Day takes place every year to allow people everywhere to celebrate and take action for our shared oceans. The aim of the day is to come together with family and friends and start creating a better future for our blue planet. The World Ocean Day website has many tools and ideas on how you can take part in this shared initiative, learn more here.
Today's blog details how VOYA, through our global work and manufacturing processes are helping to support the oceans every year.
70% OF THE AIR YOU BREATH
It is estimated that algae and marine plants produce 70-80% of the oxygen in the atmosphere. We need seaweed a whole lot more than it needs us. The very air we breathe comes from algae. In Ireland, we are blessed with nutrient-rich sea water, an abundance of seaweed and fresh air to beat the band.
If we don’t look after this precious resource, harvest it carefully and sustainably and work to actively reduce the pollution that enters our oceans, we will be cutting off our own vital lifeline. Oxygenation is essential to your health and the maintenance of skin cells; healthy skin works to effectively process all the environmental factors that surrounds us.
GUARDIANS OF TRADITION
At VOYA, our expert harvesting team check the tide levels of the Atlantic Ocean weeks in advance to strategically plan which type of seaweed to harvest based on tides and weather conditions. They only use sustainable harvesting practices, which simply means that the seaweed is selected by eye and harvested by hand. No machinery is used so as not to harm the delicate seabed or marine life.
Only a small portion of the seaweed is cut at a time to ensure it grows back within 6 - 24 months. The harvesters, like farmers, move on to the different parts of the reef to allow it to fully grow back and re-replenish, thus creating sustainable harvesting. This allows species of juvenile algae to flourish and regrow, the team then monitors how the reefs and species are regrowing in different locations.
SEAL RESCUE IRELAND
Seals are a protected species under Irish and EU law and should not be touched or encouraged to go back into the water as it is quite normal for them to rest on land. Usually, only 10% of these are sick, injured or abandoned by their mothers, have got caught up in fishing nets, may be starving or ill or may have been bitten by dogs. Seal Rescue Ireland's aim is to rehabilitate the seal pups back to full health and then return them to the wild when they are fit and ready.
The rescue centre, which relies entirely on volunteers, receives approximately 600 phone calls a year reporting mainly Harbour and Grey seals that might need rescuing from around the entire coast of Ireland. The volunteer team at the sanctuary care for the seals, treating them for illness, feeding them and making sure they have clean water until they are ready to be released back into the sea. The centre costs approximately €100,000 a year to run. VOYA is not only proud to officially sponsor Seal Rescue Ireland, but we have also pledged to adopt one seal for every month of the year.
WE BELIEVE IN SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. VOYA help to protect the biodiversity of the west coast of Ireland reefs through the sustainable and traditional harvesting practices of our core ingredient seaweed.
Our products are packaged using recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable materials. We use glass or 100% recycled plastics where possible and our carton packaging board is a special blend of FSC certified pulps using our own harvested seaweed. Our packing chips are 100% biodegradable and dissolve in water.