I thought that life might feel flat just after the book launch, but not a bit of it. An unintended consequence was a stream of interest in the announcement that I made about working with the Blue Marine Foundation or BLUE. Like many of you who have direct experience of the underwater world, my instinct is to protect what we have become part of and I have always found ways for my images to support the protection of marine species, for example the Bluefin tuna campaigns and very recently a sea turtle project in Barbados – because good images help to draw people into conservation initiatives.
BLUE is in a different league, though. It has an instinctive vision that we would all easily buy into: a world in which marine resources are valued, carefully managed and used sustainably.
But what rings my bell is BLUE’s intent to:
fix the largest solvable problem on out planet, which is the crisis in our oceans
That’s quite a statement. And when you look below the surface it is more than an eye-catching strap line: BLUE’s declared mission is the active and effective protection of 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020, delivered through a network of marine reserves and private sector led solutions in the sea.
What really impresses me is BLUE’s early success in establishing reserves, one twice the size of the UK in Chagos, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. This makes BLUE a serious and high-achieving charity. Why do I tell you this and why have I so readily initiated a self-imposed call to arms? Well, through one of those happy coincidences, a friend working in conservation noted that BLUE might be able to use some of my Ascension Island images to support fundraising for “Protecting Paradise”, a project seeking to provide evidence for what could be the biggest marine reserve in the Atlantic around that island.
This is ambitious work. But I’m convinced that the crisis in our oceans caused by over-fishing CAN BE REVERSED. It is too easy to leave the challenge to others, but as divers I think that we have a moral obligation to help if we can. What these charities benefit from just as much as donations is volunteered expertise. We all have some, whether it is project management, marketing, fund raising, translation, artistic skills – whatever.
So take a look at what BLUE is doing through the link below and – if you can – offer support. Even if you cannot support directly, the least that you could do for me is to spread the word of this noble work around your own networks. That is how BLUE found me and there will be others willing to support out there. Use the social network share buttons below to help us find them!