No water No Life; No Blue No Green – Sylvia Earle
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*Close your eyes* Picture yourself flying over the Indian Ocean and you look down below and all you see is crystal blue waters and waves crashing. You take a look closer and see birds flying near the surface and dipping into the water occasionally. You dive into the water, 10 metres, 20 metres, 30 metres (just don’t hold your breath) and there with you are beautiful corals and fish. Be careful not to damage anything. It takes a long time for it to return the way it was.
The Seychelles is only 455 km2 in landmass but over an the exclusive economic zone is 1.3 million km2 which is slightly larger than South Africa and about six times the size of the United Kingdom. This means most of the economic zone is the ocean. Seychellois are proud of our seas. The government has now decided to place greater emphasis on the blue economy. This means policies are now ensuring the sustainability of our oceans and its protection. The military strive to keep it safe from pirates and illegal activities such as drug smuggling and illegal fishing. The sea provides us with food, provides people with a livelihood and leisure pursuit on Sundays. Fishermen ensure the population is fed and some exported to the rest of the world. Tour guide operators ensure locals and tourists are able to visit the underwater world that exists. Together we appreciate and love our seas.
I still feel it is a must that an islander must know how to swim and must have attempted scuba diving at least once. It is the best way to feel at one with the ocean and appreciate it for all that it is. As Sylvia Earle said: “No Water No life; No Blue No Green.”