Why Oceans Matter

One of my favorite views of the Pacific in Costa Rica

Last night my husband asked me this question, ‘What percentage of the world’s population has not seen an ocean?’ A quick google search left me empty handed, but I’m sure it is a staggering number. For those of us who are blessed to have lived near oceans all our lives, we understand the necessity of them. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have traveled, we also understand the problem inherent in a society and system obsessed with growth, with progress: pollution, overpopulation, and an utter disregard for the earth and oceans that sustain us.

This video about oceanic conservation is one of the most powerful I’ve seen (it made me laugh, cry, and even gasp ‘Oh my God’) and features Ron Elliot, a former commercial urchin fisherman who has worked the Farallon Islands 30 miles east of San Francisco since 1989. These islands are known for, among other things, having the largest white sharks in the world, some being estimated beyond 20 ft., and Ron saw them regularly during his diving there. He still dives there as a videographer.

There is one quote of Ron’s worth heeding: “I…saw the most powerful fish in the sea show incredible restraint and I came to realize that, in order to survive, we’ll have to do the same.”

Sanctuary in the Sea: a Gulf of the Farallones Experience from Jeremiah Moore Sound on Vimeo.

If you’ve had the privilege, like me, of seeing several oceans in your life, then you’ll likely want to protect them for those who haven’t. As Ron says, “We have a lot of work ahead. The question is, do we have the courage to see it through?”

I hope you’ll take the time today to watch this video and consider its critical message. In the meantime, also consider supporting these organizations:

Oceana

Shark Savers

Surfrider Foundation

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About Kaitlin Solimine

Kaitlin Solimine was raised in New Hampshire but has considered China a second home for the past two decades. She is the author of the award-winning forthcoming novel Empire of Glass and co-founder of Hippo Reads, a media start-up connecting academic insights with real world issues. She lives in Singapore.
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