"The ocean deserves respect"

Freediver Herbert Nitsch           "The Deepest Man on Earth"

During my many travels throughout the world for championships or records or for “fun freediving”, I have observed the often alarming state of our beautiful oceans.

Healthy oceans matter, because they are, together with the world’s rainforests, the largest oxygen generators through ocean plants (phytoplankton produce between 50-85% of O2 in the earth’s atmosphere, and in turn they take up carbondioxide CO2). Ocean plants are part of  marine life’s food chain from the smallest marine creature to the largest marine mammal. This fragile ecosystem is easily disturbed by the negligent human treatment it gets.

Evident to any global tourist are the depletion of local fish-stocks of coastal communities, and the destroying ocean reefs. This is due to commercial fish-factory-vessels; the use by (mainly poor) fishermen of chemical or dynamite fishing techniques; overfishing (think tuna), sharkfinning, whaling.

Another serious concern is the continuous the dumping of garbage (the North Pacific trash vortex or gyre being the largest dump of them all); the pollution of waterways leading to the seas by various industries (80% of pollution comes from the land); the use of intelligent marine mammals as entertainment in parks, zoos, and by the military, and so forth and so on, all creating a chain reaction of one thing leading to another. None of them doing any good to the health of our seven seas

Bottom line is that our beautiful oceans, which encompass the vast majority of our planet's surface, are in a concerning state these days. And very little is done about it. The international waters outside countries’ territories is a free-for-all that is hard to monitor and control. So-called international agreements about for example whaling and fish quota are theoretical and bureaucratical master pieces that have little meaning in practice.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a leading force in creating awareness to the mainstream public about the state of our oceans and its marine life. Their provocative and effective actions of many volunteers and contributors are an encouragement to doing more. I am therefore very proud to be member of the Sea Shepherd Ocean Advocacy Advisory Board.

In my own small way I hope to contribute by dedicating time to this noble cause in every lecture I give, and thus provide information to audiences from students to doctors to corporations and local communities in various countries (including landlocked countries such as Austria!).

How ocean pollution affects humans DIVE.in