As divers we owe it to the earth (in particular the sea) to show some degree of concern over what a large proportion of the world is doing to harm our planet.
Every whaling season, fleets of Japanese and Canadian ships rake the Arctic and the Pacific to harvest anything and everything from seals, to whales, sharks, turtles, sea cucumbers and many other living creatures that cannot defend themselves from the selfish might of man.
Ok, that's happening far far away in icy oceans where none of us go to dive anyway, so how does it affect us divers, a small community passionate about soaking our skin in salt water and breathing compressed air?
Simple! If such acts continue, we'll have no reason to dive anymore! The ecosystem was created so that one species was dependent on another… kill one, and another disappears. The marine ecosystem is structured in a way that one species is dependent on the other. Over hundreds of years, the number of predators and prey form a food pyramid that controlled each population. Killing seals causes explosions in fish populations and shrinkage in Killer Whales. In turn, the increase in the number of fish deplete micro organisms that bigger mammals like whales depend on… so you see.. its a vicious cycle. If this imbalance occurs in the Arctic, it will eventually spread to neighbouring ecosystems in the Pacific, then the South and eventually it'll come home.
So how to passionate people put the foot to the pedal? They become activists!
Well, if you think that you're an activist just because you point and yell when people eat Shark's fins or throw plastic bags into the sea… you should see the work the Sea Shepard Conservation Society does on a yearly basis.
Lead by Captian Paul Watson, the Sea Shepard Conservation Society is all for the sea. Every year, they launch into multi-million-dollar anti-whaling operations against Japanese whailing vessels, hunting them from Tokyo all the way to the Artic, using offessive means to prevent such ships from spearing whales and carting them onboard their vessels.
They've been called terrorists, activitists, whale huggers amongst others… watch what they do… and ask yourself… are we really doing enough?