When I look at all the issues that plague our oceans my reaction goes from disbelief (as in "this can’t be true”) to anger (as in “how could we let this happen?") and ends with worry (as in “how we could ever fix this?”). Finally it all turns into that disheartening feeling that there’s nothing I can do.
One example is the Taiji slaughtering of dolphins in Japan, that just keeps happening despite a huge worldwide campaign that involved massive use of media channels, indisputable science facts and even some Hollywood film stars. It's an endless battle against barbaric traditions, ignorance, cultural myths, wealthy corporations and it won't be won overnight.
So what can I do…
Shall I convince myself it's not my responsibility to do anything at all and just move on with my life? After all I’m a diver, I’m not an activist...
Information and awareness are powerful tools, so the first step is to know what is happening out there, what the crimes against the ocean are and who is actively fighting them. Get on social media and start pulling your weight, it doesn’t take much time or effort but it does take a little courage.
Why don’t you tell your friends never to visit Sea World, invite them to watch Blackfish or The Cove, tell them that Flipper was not a happy pet but a wild animal kept in captivity. Tell them that Jaws is pure fiction, that sharks are majestic, supremely beautiful animals.
If you can, take your friends diving with you. Pull your kids off the iPad and get them masks & snorkels.
A well-known quote from JY Cousteau says that “People protect what they love”.
Maybe as divers all we have to do is to keep spreading our love for the ocean, make others fall in love with it.
We do it with our photos, videos, blogs, posts, with passionate stories about amazing encounters & adventures - with those we have the power to inspire others to love and protect the sea.
It's a long battle but we will win it, for the ocean and its creatures.