As we sail along and watch the ocean waves, it reminds us daily of how the ocean is the source of many materials, from ores mined from its depths to relaxing mineral salts for a bath. Exquisite mother-of-pearl inlay, decorative shells, and pearl jewelry are found in gift shops worldwide. And whether your tastes run to the exotic, like yellowfin tuna sushi,or the mundane of fast food milkshakes, products from the sea are probably in your diet. Many species of vertebrate and invertebrate marine animals as well as marine algae are important sources of food worldwide.
Examine the foods in your own kitchen and you may find the terms “alginate” and “carrageenan” on the labels.
Carrageenans are compounds extracted from red algae that are used to stabilize and jell foods and pharmaceuticals. Brown algae contain alginates that make foods thicker and creamier and add to shelf life. They are used to prevent ice crystals from forming in ice cream. Alginates and carrageenans are often used in puddings, milkshakes, and ice cream. The commonly used color additive beta-carotene often comes from green algae as well as many vegetables, including carrots. On the grocer’s shelf and in the pharmacy,
in industry and in the arts, the ocean is a resource without equal. However, exploitation of these natural resources carries with it the responsibility to use them wisely and preserve them globally.
This activity will help us realize just how much the ocean contributes to our lives on land.
Ocean gifts activity pages
Use this activity to learn how we can protect ocean life with sustainable fishing.