Editorial 59

Editorial

By Dave Moran

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undefined undefinedime for a change? Well New Zealand Post thought so. Over the last six months we have been having discussions with them regarding their local and international postage sizes and weights. To conform with their standards we have reduced the overall size of the magazine.

While we were making these size changes we decided to give our masthead a wee facelift to reflect more of what the magazine’s subject matter is about … diving! We hope you approve of the new look.

There has been no definite decisions made by either the Police or OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) as we prepare to go to press regarding the French Pass accident (see editorial and ‘Is this a wake up call?’ in the June/July issue).

Both the Police and OSH have sent reports to their own legal departments for their recommendations on what action should be taken.

The OSH report will be made available at OSH’s discretion to various organisations.

The public can obtain copies of both reports by requesting it through the Official Information Act. If Police charges are laid, it could be several months before the coroner’s report is made available.

It was disappointing to see the joint New Zealand and Australian proposal for a Whale Sanctuary in the South Pacific being defeated at the recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Adelaide, Australia. The proposal lost 18-11 with four abstentions. Britain, the USA and South Africa supported the proposal.

The sanctuary makes sense, as one of its aims is to protect the whales as they leave the relative safety of the Southern and Indian Ocean sanctuaries to breed near the equator.

Because they have to run this tropical gauntlet every year it tends to make the Southern and Indian Ocean sanctuaries ‘Clayton Sanctuaries’. As expected pro-whaling Japan was the instigator to squash the proposal. Of more concern is the increasing pressure for the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling to be lifted! I just about threw up when I heard a New Zealand Maori group lending their support to this.

As a species, Homo sapiens, who share this planet with other living creatures, we have not progressed very far in the realisation that it is not our ‘God given right’ to do as we please. The main responsibility we have at the top of the evolutionary pile is to maintain and protect the environment and all those who are privileged to be here.

Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of TIME magazine, June 26 edition. Heading: 21st Century visions, In The Future Will We …..

Its contents and predictions are very thought provoking, though some are already staring us in the face, like Peter Benchley’s (author of Jaws – now the narrator of dozens of films on ocean conservation) comments in his article ‘What will be the catch of the day? Twenty-five years from now we’ll be lucky to find a seafood menu that offers a rock sandwich with a side order of kelp.’

The thought that the human race will soon be able to escape to another planet is shot down in the article ‘Will we travel to the stars’. The earliest estimate is, maybe in another 500 years.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise that Earth is going to be our home for a long time, so individuals and Governments need to protect what we have left for the future of our own long term survival.

The good thing about winter is that it is the time of year for major Expo shows. The Sports Expo is on again at the Auckland Expo Centre, Greenlane, from 18-20 August. Check out the latest in diving equipment and also dive travel. Call into the Dive New Zealand stand to take out a subscription and receive some free goodies! (See page 38 for details)

The Hamilton Boat Show is from 31 August to 3 September at the Waikato Events Centre. A number of dive retailers will be tempting you with their best sale prices! (See page 59 for details)

The one night of the year I look forward to is the Oceanz Awards evening. If you need inspiration to pick up a camera or to get off your backside and go diving, this function is bound to do both. Dr Simon Mitchell is MC again so there should be some good Aussie/Kiwi jokes to lighten up the evening.

See you at Sky City on Saturday 2 September 2000. For tickets and information phone 0-9-278 9163.

Enjoy some winter diving, the visibility can be 30 metres plus!

Dave Moran

Editor

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