Why is it important that we save what remains of our reefs, fish and marine ecosystem?

I think the basic answer is that it isn’t, unless of course we care to.

We are now beginning, as a species, to generally appreciate, if not understand, how the natural world actually works. How these systems and all their component parts play a vital role in the stability and health of the world in which we live.

We do of course try to distance ourselves from nature by building and living in completely artificial surroundings. We grow food artificially, we drastically reduce the immediate effects of weather and we regulate temperature and humidity in our technological existences. However, the luxury of this ability is not given to all mankind, only the ruling classes, the rich and well off. It is certainly not afforded to wildlife of any kind.

We know that with our technology we can do wonderful things, but unless it is afforded to all, then ultimately there will be wars and conflict as natural resources are eaten up by those who are generally far removed from them.

We can continue to eradicate species and habitats across the globe in the name of progress and fiscal gain, and as far as I am concerned there is no one looking down upon us from afar to judge our actions. We do all this on our own. I do not believe we will be either rewarded or punished in an afterlife. But, those generations who follow us will have to bear the consequences of our greed.

The oceans contribute greatly to our weather, they help generate the oxygen we breathe and deal most effectively with the carbon dioxide we generate as a bi-product of simply living. But the oceans are not a mechanical disposal system or gifted with endless supplies of food for our tastes. The oceans are a living breathing entity. A delicate and complex giant organism with countless parts that are all intertwined in their contribution to the diversity, which we know, is so crucial to the continued well being and evolution of any ecosystem.

As a species we are quite incredible and as far as we know quite unique within our universe. We are clever; we are compassionate, strong and successful. Yet we blunder into strife and poverty by choosing to drastically alter the very nature of the world that made us what we are. The future of the world is literally in our hands, and it falls down precisely to what we choose to do with it.

As a species that has the ability to reason beyond our own immediate circumstances, surely we must choose a world to live in that celebrates all the incredible wonders that have been created here since the planet was first in its cosmic infancy. The simple wonder of seeing a whale breech, a shoal of fish searing through the water in silvery unison, the glorious colours of coral, the magnificence and the shear scale of plants and animals that make our seas. Why would we want to live without all this? Why would we deny our children the opportunity to witness and be part of this great and wonderful planet? Are we so really self indulgent to be satisfied with saying to the younger generation. “Oh, you should have seen it in my day………”

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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