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Innovation for a sustainable Ocean: Topic of the yearIf you’re a diver, snorkeler or just love being at the beach we invite you to comment on your experiences and share your thoughts on this emotive issue for your chance to win one of the three fabulous prizes on offer.See the thoughts of Thomas Van Puymbroeck below, one of our ambitious underwater photography visionaries, who is very passionate about this subject.
Conservation versus consumption… that’s the question
Worldwide our oceans and their inhabitants are currently under enormous pressure. Human population is growing and so is our need for food.Historically only 100 years ago there were plenty of fish in our oceans, but now it’s getting critical for some species. For example: each year 100 million sharks are hunted and killed, mostly for their fins. If we want a sustainable ocean full of fish, we need those sharks because everything is linked together in the food chain of life. If you skim from the top of the food pyramid - the sharks - everything below will simply collapse. But there is hope: more and more people are starting to realize the benefits of a healthy ocean: numerous approved sanctuaries are growing to preserve nature’s delicate equilibrium.
Thomas Van Puymbroeck • PEN E-PL1 • M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-5.6 • PT-EP01
If you protect a certain area of the ocean through a sanctuary it allows the fish to thrive, breed and explore the wider ocean, often returning to the safety of the sanctuary to breed again. Only after allowing a couple of generations to breed uninterrupted should we be allowed to fish again, otherwise we run the risk of overfishing with the very real danger of whole species becoming extinc.
This is what is happening now in certain sanctuaries with the shark population. Having protected a section of reef the whole eco system is getting a second chance, with smaller fish returning and attracting even smaller macro life. Once this begins it can expand to other reefs and underwater life will start to thrive again. This all stems from the observation of sharks at the top of the food chain.
Thomas Van Puymbroeck • OM-D E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO • PT-EP14
With the ecological systems all being interlinked, by protecting the oceans we humans benefit alongside the sub marine life. Former fishermen change professions to become wildlife protectors defending the seas against poachers and ensuring divers and tourists understand the rules of the ocean and gain maximum enjoyment from the waters they explore.
Now that the success of these sanctuaries is growing, divers and underwater photographers are willing to pay large fees for access to visit the ever increasingly beautiful wildlife. It is therefore vitally important that we ensure the funds continue to be used to regenerate the great conservation work being undertaken. This way everybody wins, from the local communities to the amazing underwater world that we enjoy as divers or just from admiring the fabulous photography we can appreciate here.
By supporting the conservation work in the sanctuaries this way I am sure that our ocean eco system will thrive and we can sustain the fishing industry too.
Author and Photographer: Thomas Van Puymbroeck
What is your experience with the Ocean?To mark this very special day, we invite you to participate in this year’s raffle celebrating our glorious oceans.
What to do:If you are not signed up yet as a MyOlympus user, quickly click here, register and refresh your browser or click here after signing up. If you are already a MyOlympus user, log in here.Take a moment to think about your own experiences with the ocean.Share with us your most memorable moment using your Olympus Tough (or any other Olympus cameras) on the beach, from a boat or underwater and simply give this article a like and comment under this blogpost before June 22, 2020 --> raffle is closed !
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