From Issue 3
Growing up in the Bahamas, the ocean has always been my second home, giving light to my ever-changing and growing curiosity. Being in the ocean has always transported me into another world of my own. When drifting on waves I’d feel a connection to the entire globe, without direction or responsibility—simply bliss. It is an environment that continues to inspire my creativity and desire to explore the world to this day.
When thinking of my time in the ocean, I will never forget the beauty of the magenta sea fans spread out across the ocean floor, the flicker of neon blue fish through the water, or the way that it feels to dive under the waves. As the health of the ocean is threatened by climate change, a beautiful and healthy ocean is what we’re fighting for. It is our duty as ocean advocates to protect it.
I remember that I was once on a whale watching internship when the question of sustainable practice came into play. I sat on the beach as an unusual boat passed just off shore until I realised that this boat was one of a fleet of boats piled to the point of no return with fish and conch. My heart ached. I knew there was no way this could be sustainable for the ocean or the health of the many ecosystems that rely on it. Becoming an Ocean Hero and connecting with a network of young people who share this concern for the future of our shared earth has helped me find the confidence within myself to bring light to ocean health issues.
Commercial fishing and deep seabed mining not only threaten marine ecosystems but they also create a ripple effect of consequences for the health of the entire world. As more fish are pulled from the ocean, more sustainable fish market economies struggle. So too do the families that depend on them. The entire ecology of the ocean is thrown off balance and this also threatens ecosystems on land.
Marine environments are the strongholds of my country’s economy, providing jobs for fishermen, food for people, and heritage in the form of stories about great historical creatures fishermen tell to their children. We all depend on the ocean and the coral reef for our survival, just like young fish that grow up in mangrove flats to one day later join larger fish in coral reefs. In fact, the ocean, and all its inhabitants, make up over 70 percent of our planet, determining the fate and health of our world as a whole. Because of this, it’s crucial we restore marine ecosystems that have been lost due to increasing storm events, climate change, industrialization and pollution.
The Ocean Heroes Network is like a large thriving coral reef, filled with other Ocean heroes and adult allies who have helped me on my own environmental journey and who will be ready to help you if you choose to become an Ocean Hero too. In this issue of the OH-WAKE magazine, we dive into conversations about our blue planet, picking up after our last issue to explore more nature-based solutions — with a focus on marine environments. My fellow Ocean Heroes editors and guest contributors share their creativity and love for the ocean through their artivism, words, and ideas. Submerge yourself into ocean activism as we explore the underwater world in this issue.