Editorial 111

EDITORIAL BY DAVE MORAN

Do some have the ape gene without the thinking gene?

‘The grandest creature in all creation has been hunted by our kind, the thinking ape, to near extinction. But it’s hard not to be optimistic.’

These words are written in bold in an article in the March edition of the USA’s Nation Geographic magazine. The article is about the largest creature ever to live on this planet, the blue whale.

You may have viewed one if you live or have visited Auckland, New Zealand!

The renowned US artist and environmentalist, Wyland (

www.wyland.com

) painted his 84th wall mural on Auckland’s Maritime Museum’s exterior wall during October – November 1999 when the America Cup’s yachting Challengers’ races were on. The mural includes a 30m (95ft) blue whale.

The mural sends a very strong environmental message and schools take classes to the wall to show children the immense size of a blue whale. Wyland’s whale would weigh in at around 200 tons (181,437 kg) if it was swimming in the ocean. The blue whale was on the verge of extinction when it became the symbol of the environmental movement and its population is now slowly recovering.

Today the shark is the marine species that needs the thinking ape’s help. Now I’m not going to rave on about shark finning and associated products, I’m interested in the different ways people perceive and treat sharks.

On reading comments on the magazine’s recently launched Dive Buddies under the thread I started with the heading: Killing a Bronze whaler shark for $100.00, unbelievable! I am disturbed by comments/attitudes of some of the younger generation who still think bashing up sharks is some kind of sport or to prove they are super divers or maybe it’s fulfilling their ego needs.

It’s been a few decades since the thinking ape acquired the ability to kill everything on the planet. In less than a blink in time we have dramatically altered the environment of the planet. Has the thinking ape reached a point in its evolution that he/she thinks, ‘I do not have to kill that species,  it is rather magnificent’. This type of thinking has already started, just look at the game parks in Africa and marine reserves worldwide.

The Y generation needs to look back at history and realize that what they think is heaps of shark activity is nothing to how it was. Maybe some of the Y generation have the ape gene without the ‘thinking’ gene? For further comments click on Dive Buddies at

www.divenewzealand.com

.

The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show. The team at Dive New Zealand/Dive Pacific and Nature’s Playground magazines  look forward to catching up with some of our readers and subscribers at the Boat Show from 1 –17 May 2009 at the ASB Showgrounds Auckland. We look forward to meeting you.

Wherever you are in the world we wish you some fantastic diving adventures – enjoy!

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