When in the mist of this era - filled with horrible pictures of forsaken dolphins left strangulated in ghost nets, - dead sea turtles with tummies filled with plastic, statistics on bleaching corals, - shark fin trade and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, - it is also important to remember the beauty of the Oceans.
As Blue Reporter and Executive Editor of Oceans Daily,
I too have my reasons for choosing to contribute as much as possible for a more sustainable future for the Oceans, - and my reasons have their roots deeply buried in an upbringing circling around the healthy and beautiful Oceans.
With my father being an underwater cinematographer, and my parents spending a lot of time collaborating with Fisheries in Dominica W.I. to dokument the beauty and health of the Ocean surrounding the little Nature Island, - I was raised to understand the value of “keeping the magic”.
The meaning of “Keeping the magic”, - is quite similar to what Baba Dioum was quoted for
“In the end, We conserve only what We love, We love only what We understand, We understand only what We are taught”.
As a child, I witnessed this unspoiled, healthy, beautiful and magical Ocean environment.
Everyday I would be spending as much time as possible below surface, - either scuba diving, for example, in underwater cathedrals, filled with juvenile fish, or snorkeling with curious sea turtles - almost begging me to give them a good scratch on their shells, to release them from some of the algae and parasites residing on their backs, - and sometimes I would find i giant stone to kling onto, and I would be sitting on the ocean floor, staring into the big blue, and carefully listen to the songs from whales, swimming further out in the bay…
These countless experiences has made me feel attached to the Ocean, - and in fact I feel the exact same way about plunging into the blue element as Sylvia Earle once said : “Every time I slip into the Ocean, it´s like going home”.
It was not until later, I came to realize with my own eyes, the deep crisis the Oceans are in, due to human activity.
As a young teenager, I began working at an Italian Sea Turtle Rescue Center and understood the effect and horrible damage We are accountable for as humans to the Ocean, - and also, the responsibilities to act that comes along with this knowledge…
Though, - We still need to remember to “keep the magic”, - and try not to drown ourselves and our wish to act in what seems to be an insurmountability that washes over us like a tsunami, - with horrible pictures, statistics and the acknowledge of the “lack of information” given to us about corrupt politicians, fish quota etc.
Of cause, this is also the truth. The Oceans do provide us with more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and if there is no Ocean, there is no us (Sylvia Earle) and we need knowledge to be able to act. Yet, we also need to remember what we are fighting for…
Cold statistics, - and a negative doomsday fokus, will not necessarily provide us the lust and energy we need to be the change and act as individuals to a more sustainable future for the Oceans.
Believing that all of the Ocean is so filled with our plastic that we can almost walk from Europe to the US, can give us the impression that : “It is too late”, or, “It is too big of a deal for me as a single person to do anything in this humongous crisis”, - that “As a human being, I feel so terrible about having supported the extermination of the Oceans” … etc. !
We need to remember and also fokus on whats left of the Oceans beauty, to act, - since a positive steppingstone could give us more energy to take the next step to contribute to a more sustainable future for the Ocean.
It is far from everyone that has had the chance to experience the beauty of the Oceans, let alone, experienced the Ocean.
Yet, this just makes it much more important to share the good, positive stories about the underwater world, and display pictures and create films, focusing on the beauty of the big blue.
Not too long ago I spoke to a Japanese woman, whom explained to me, that most Japanese children, has never experienced the Oceans. They dont know what the Oceans are, - or should be, and therefore they naturally (generally speaking) feel no need to act, - since they have no idea what they should protect.
This was a wakeup call for me.
Since being in the ocean and experiencing the beauty of the Ocean is such an integrated part of my “Ocean perception”. I often find myself drifting away into coldhearted facts and new studies made on for instance coral bleaching. This combination makes sense to me, since my childhood home was placed just above a MPA (Marine Protected Area) with a huge coral reef, and I therefore understand the value as well as the enchantment of a living coral.
But all of a sudden, I really understood the boldness to the facts, the helplessness these studies brought along with them, - and which effect this would have, or not have, when brought to a person whom had never before witnessed a healthy coral reef, - nor the Ocean, for that matter.
Writing all of this down,
it seems so natural and almost timely wasted to explain the simplicity in covering the title, - “remember the Oceans beauty”. Yet, this Editorial, sharing this, perhaps too simple, perspective, felt important for me to write and share with You.
Lately, - I have frequently been asked the question : “Are there ever any good Ocean News”, - and the short answer to this question is Yes! As Executive Editor, I strive to share as many Ocean Perspectives as possible, - both relevant negative as well as positive news and stories.
But the simple message I bring to You though this Editorial is this :
We need to remember the beauty of the Oceans, and share this with those who have not been so fortunate to have experienced this, - to remember and remind one another, - what we are fighting for, - and not what we are fighting to avoid !
By Blue Reporter, Naja Bertolt Jensen