Robert Ste-Marie – A moment in April 2018 completely changed my perception of ocean health.
I was participating in a summit of entrepreneurs in Ulusaba, South Africa, organised by the Maverick 1000 network, led by Yanik Silver. One morning I was shaken out of my reverie about the lions and leopards surrounding the reserve where we met for a presentation by Katie Hunt-Morr from Virgin Unite. She told us about Ocean Unite, a non-profit organisation working to protect 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030.
I was shocked at the realisation of the dire situation facing the ocean. “50 per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the Ocean and it is in peril,” and “by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean,” she said. Those words put everything in context for me. I needed to get involved.
Surprisingly, I did not know most of the facts that Katie shared with us that day. I had spent 16 years working in spacecraft engineering on remote sensing missions looking at Earth from afar. I thought I had the big picture, but I really had no idea!
For problems to be solved we have to be aware of them, and they have to be in our collective consciousness. This is where I felt that I could make a difference. For us to put pressure on decision makers to act, and for positive ocean conservation actions to be adopted, I realised more people have to be aware of the risks to their own existence.
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