“The ocean is large and resilient, but it is not too big to fail. What we are taking out of the sea, what we are putting into the sea are actions that are undermining the most important thing the ocean delivers to humankind – our very existence.”
– Sylvia Earle
Fisher Steven’s documentary, Blue Mission, has renewed my awareness towards the wellbeing of the ocean. The film introduced me to Sylvia Earle, a revered American marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer and the ocean’s true-blue friend with an eternal smile. Her ardor for the ocean is as boundless as the ocean itself, and her immutable conviction for its purpose and protection is neither crippled by her age nor social and physical conflict. I have never known of her prior to the viewing of Fisher’s Blue Mission in class, but I now find myself overflowing with respect for her fight for her beloved world, the great wide ocean.
The deep blue in its entirety can be likened to the cosmos in the manner that it is mostly uncharted and unexplored by humankind. Despite its earthly and ubiquitous status, 95% of the thalassic empire is still yet to be graced by the light of humanity. But still in the narrow yet expansive 5% margin lies an extremely opulent biodiversity: innumerable counts of discovered and catalogued aquatic species, ranging from the shallow to the deep, from the minute to the monstrous, and from the beautiful to the bizarre. So what about the other 95%? What else is in there in the wide waters? Mile-long bioluminescent eels? Locomotive coral beds? Pelagic islands of jumping jellybrains? My imagination can only generate so much to envision the phantasmagoria of the deep and dark abyss.
The ocean is a vast, mystical realm. Who can state with rank certainty what we will find in the bowels of the sea, what frontiers and breakthroughs of science await at the bottom of the world, and what we can make of it. It would be a shame and pity to have squandered such potentials in the trade for monetary incentives, lifestyle, tradition and survival. Sure, desperation drives us to commit such acidic atrocities, but we are after all a resilient, intellectual race. It is our specialty to find and employ alternatives to such dilemmas, and still capacitated to quell the aquatic vandalism we inflict upon it before we fully exhaust its tolerance.
This is why I find Sylvia Earle’s lifelong advocacy for oceanic protection to be 100% warranted, of course, among many other reasons being the ocean as a linchpin to the engine of the global biotic complex as well as a paramount economical and agricultural asset. If we all understand that the ocean is our’s to use and not abuse, her fight will not end in vain, and her devotion will one day become a legacy we will perpetuate as the ocean’s true-blue friend.