By Dave Moran –
Seaweek every day
I recently had the pleasure of attending the official launch of Seaweek (2-10 March:
) at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium in Auckland. Various people gave presentations. The presentation that impressed me the most was delivered by Craig Thorburn, Senior Curator for Sea life aquariums, in Australia and New Zealand. Part of his presentation focused on: What is not seen by the general public.
It got me thinking again about how the marine environment has changed since the end of World War II caused in part by the huge technological advancements man has made in those 68 years. In recent times we have all become more aware of how some of man’s achievements have impacted on the world’s environment. Some governments and people are now trying to lessen and even try to halt the downward slope we find the environment in.
It’s great that people are becoming more aware of the plastic rubbish invasion that is cluttering the world’s beaches and oceans and ends up in the gut of marine creatures and bird life.
Plastic on our beaches is just a drop in the bucket of what is going on over the horizon, invisible to the public, such as over fishing and dumping of waste etc. Closer to our beaches is the nutrient rich water run-off from farms and heavy metals and chemicals from untreated waste from factories. These issues are now being addressed by responsible farmers and manufacturers. You realize New Zealand and Australia are relatively ‘clean’ when you visit some of the Asian countries where floating (I hate to think what can’t be seen) rubbish is just the norm for many harbours and waterways.
What is not seen is over fishing even when a species is way under its so called sustainable percentage level. When a new fishery is discovered the commercial fishing boats rush to extract as much as possible while the bonanza lasts. This is the current situation with the Patagonian toothfish in the Antarctica’s Ross Sea which sadly the New Zealand government is fully endorsing, much to the horror of scientists working in Antarctica.
It’s heartening to see young people taking notice! Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium Young Explorers group, as part of Seaweek, when 51 volunteers combed Okahu Bay Auckland, picking up 27 bags of litter. Young Explorer leader and Kelly Tarlton’s grandson, Tane Tarlton (11), says, ‘It was really great to get everyone together to help clean up the beach and I hope we have inspired others to do the same. If everyone does their bit by not dropping rubbish on the streets, the beach, or into the sea, we can help protect the sea and its marine life.’
As we go to press Conservation Minister Nick Smith has formally approved five new reserves totalling 17,500 hectares on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. There is hope!
Dive New Zealand magazine at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show
If you’re attending the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show (16-19 May) we look forward to catching up with you. There will be free goodies when you renew or take a subscription to the magazine. While you’re visiting us check out the life saving, Nautilus Lifeline (
check it out here
) and register to win a trip for two to The RIG, Malaysia (
have a look here
) five days of amazing diving awaits you!